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Oncol Rep. 2013 Aug;30(2):801-8. doi: 10.3892/or.2013.2517. Epub 2013 Jun 4.

SB365, Pulsatilla saponin D suppresses proliferation and induces apoptosis of pancreatic cancer cells.

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  • 1Department of Drug Development, College of Medicine, Inha University, Sinheung‑dong, Jung-gu, Incheon 400-712, Republic of Korea.


Pulsatilla koreana has been used as a traditional medicine for the treatment of various diseases. The purpose of this study was to determine whether SB365, Pulsatilla saponin D isolated from the root of Pulsatilla koreana inhibits the progression of pancreatic cancer. We found that SB365 strongly suppressed the growth and proliferation of 5 human pancreatic cancer cell lines (MIAPaCa-2, BXPC-3, PANC-1, AsPC-1 and HPAC). The apoptotic effect of SB365 was demonstrated by increased levels of cleaved caspase-3 and decreased Bcl-2 expression via mitochondrial membrane potential, as well as elevated numbers of terminal deoxynucleotidyl-transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL)-positive apoptotic cells. SB365 was also found to exert an anti-angiogenic effect by decreasing the expression of HIF-1α and VEGF, major factors of angiogenesis, which was confirmed by the suppression of tumor sphere formation of pancreatic cancer cells. An in vivo mouse xenograft study showed that SB365 significantly inhibited tumor growth through the induction of apoptosis and inhibition of angiogenesis with strong anticancer activity. Therefore, SB365 is a good candidate as a natural product for use in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

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