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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(21):9153-7.

N-butanol extract of Capparis spinosa L. induces apoptosis primarily through a mitochondrial pathway involving mPTP open, cytochrome C release and caspase activation.

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Center of Research and Development on Life Sciences and Environmental Sciences, Harbin University of Commerce, Harbin, China E-mail :



Capparis spinosa L., a Uygur medicine, had been shown to have anti-tumor activity in our early experiments with an N-butanol extract (CSBE) as its active fraction. However, the mechanisms responsible for its effects are not clearly understood. Here, we report that treatment of SGC-7901 cells with CSBE resulted in dose-dependent reduction of cell viability and induction of apoptosis.


To observe the inhibitory and killing effects of CSBE on SGC-7901, the SRB method was adopted, apoptosis being observed by electron microscopy. To clarify the mechanisms of apoptosis, Western blot and enzyme-labeled methods were used to examine the release of cytochrome c (Cyt c) and the activation of the caspase cascade.


By electron microscopy, apoptotic morphologic changes were detectable after CSBE administration. In this study, it was also demonstrated that CSBE induced apoptosis in SGC-7901 cells by inhibiting mPTP open, mitochondrial cytochrome c release, caspase-9 and caspase-3 activation.


The findings indicated that CSBE induces apoptosis through mitochondrial pathway.

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