Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2013 Feb;34(2):295-300. doi: 10.1038/aps.2012.156. Epub 2012 Dec 3.

Growth inhibitory effects and molecular mechanisms of crotoxin treatment in esophageal Eca-109 cells and transplanted tumors in nude mice.

Author information

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China.



To investigate the antitumor actions of the Crotalus durissus neurotoxin (crotoxin) on human esophageal carcinoma (Eca-109) cells in vitro and transplanted esophageal Eca-109 tumors in nude mice.


The growth-inhibitory effect was analyzed in Eca-109 cells using MTT assay. Cell morphology changes in nuclei were observed using Hoechst 33342 staining, while apoptosis and cell cycle distribution were examined by flow cytometry. RT-PCR was used to measure the Bcl-2, p15, and caspase-3 p17 gene expression levels. A tumor transplantation model was established by inoculation of Eca-109 cells were into female Balb/c nude mice. Crotoxin (25, 50, and 100 mg/kg) was subcutaneously injected into the transplanted tumors every 2 d for a total of 10 injections. Tumor size and weight were measured. Bcl-2, p15, and caspase-3 p17 protein expression in transplanted tumors was analyzed using Western blotting.


Crotoxin (25, 50, and 100 μg/mL) inhibited the growth of Eca-109 cells in a dose-dependent manner with inhibition rates of 22.9%, 35.8%, and 57.2%, respectively. Hoechst 33342 staining revealed apoptotic cells with pyknotic nuclear chromatin after crotoxin treatment. In Eca-109 cells, crotoxin induced apoptosis and G1 block, significantly upregulated the expression of p15 and caspase-3 p17 genes and downregulated the expression of Bcl-2 gene. Furthermore, crotoxin inhibited the growth of Eca-109 tumors in nude mice in a dose-dependent manner. Western blotting showed that crotoxin increased p15 and caspase-3 p17 protein levels and reduced Bcl-2 protein level in tumor specimens.


Crotoxin inhibits the growth of Eca-109 cells in vitro via apoptosis induction and G1 block. Local administration of crotoxin inhibits the growth of subcutaneously transplanted Eca-109 cells in nude mice, possibly via increasing p15 and caspase-3 p17 protein expression and reducing Bcl-2 protein expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center