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Mol Med Rep. 2015 Mar;11(3):2125-8. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2014.2929. Epub 2014 Nov 12.

Berberine targets epidermal growth factor receptor signaling to suppress prostate cancer proliferation in vitro.

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Department of Urological Surgery, Kunshan First People's Hospital Affiliated to Jiangsu University, Kunshan, Jiangsu 215300, P.R. China.


Berberine is a well‑known component of the Chinese herbal medicine Huanglian (Coptis chinensis), and is capable of inhibiting the proliferation of multiple cancer cell lines. However, information available regarding the effect of berberine on prostate cancer cell growth is limited. In the present study, LnCaP and PC‑3 human prostate cancer cell lines were selected as in vitro models in order to assess the efficacy of berberine as an anticancer agent. A cell proliferation assay demonstrated that berberine inhibited cell growth in a dose‑and time‑dependent manner. Further investigation revealed berberine significantly accumulated inside cells that were in the G1 phase of the cell cycle and enhanced apoptosis. Western blot analysis demonstrated that berberine inhibited the expression of prostate‑specific antigen and the activation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and it attenuated EGFR activation following EGF treatment in vitro. In conclusion, the results indicate that berberine inhibits the proliferation of prostate cancer cells through apoptosis and/or cell cycle arrest by inactivation of the EGFR signaling pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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