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Toxicol Res. 2010 Jun;26(2):109-15. doi: 10.5487/TR.2010.26.2.109.

Berberine inhibited radioresistant effects and enhanced anti-tumor effects in the irradiated-human prostate cancer cells.

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Chong Kun Dang Healthcare Crop. Research Center, Dangjin 344-827.


The purpose of this study was to elucidate the mechanism underlying enhanced radiosensitivity to (60)Co γ-irradiation in human prostate PC-3 cells pretreated with berberine. The cytotoxic effect of the combination of berberine and irradiation was superior to that of berberine or irradiation alone. Cell death and Apoptosis increased significantly with the combination of berberine and irradiation. Additionally, ROS generation was elevated by berberine with or without irradiation. The antioxidant NAC inhibited berberine and radiation-induced cell death. Bax, caspase-3, p53, p38, and JNK activation increased, but activation of Bcl-2, ERK, and HO-1 decreased with berberine treatment with or without irradiation. Berberine inhibited the anti-apoptotic signal pathway involving the activation of the HO-1/NF-κB-mediated survival pathway, which prevents radiation-induced cell death. Our data demonstrate that berberine inhibited the radioresistant effects and enhanced the radiosensitivity effects in human prostate cancer cells via the MAPK/caspase-3 and ROS pathways.


Apoptosis; Berberine; Radiation; Radioresistant

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