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Mol Med Rep. 2017 Aug;16(2):2302-2308. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2017.6798. Epub 2017 Jun 16.

Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi induces caspase-dependent apoptosis via mitogen activated protein kinase activation and the generation of reactive oxygen species signaling pathways in MCF-7 breast cancer cells.

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Division of Longevity and Biofunctional Medicine, Pusan National University School of Korean Medicine, Yangsan 50612, Republic of Korea.
Healthy Aging Korean Medical Research Center, Pusan National University School of Korean Medicine, Yangsan 50612, Republic of Korea.
Department of Physiology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 110‑799, Republic of Korea.
Department of Physiology, Chosun University College of Medicine, Gwangju 61452, Republic of Korea.
Department of Physical Therapy, Kyungwoon University College of Health, Gumi 730‑739, Republic of Korea.


Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi extract (SBGE) is used in traditional herbal medicine and has also been used clinically to ameliorate the symptoms of various inflammatory diseases and cancer. In women, breast cancer is one of the most common diseases and numerous women succumb to it. The present study was undertaken to investigate the mechanism responsible for the SBGE‑induced apoptosis of MCF‑7 human breast cancer cells. SBGE was administered to cells at concentrations between 100 and 500 mg/ml, and cell viabilities were identified using an MTT assay. B‑cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) and Bcl-2 X‑associated protein (Bax) family members were identified by western blotting, and the mRNA expression levels of the pro‑apoptosis genes Fas, Fas ligand (FasL) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)‑α were assessed by reverse transcription‑polymerase chain reaction. It was identified that SBGE treatment for 24 h inhibited MCF‑7 proliferation and increased the sub‑G1 phase ratio. SBGE suppressed mitochondrial membrane potentials and SBGE‑induced apoptotic cell death was identified to be associated with downregulation of Bcl‑2, but upregulation of Bax. SBGE‑activated caspases 3 and 9, and increased reactive oxygen species generation. However, SBGE had no effect on the expression levels of Fas, FasL or TNF‑α. Furthermore, mitogen‑activated protein kinase and C‑Jun N‑terminal kinase inhibitors inhibited SBGE‑induced cell death. These results suggested that SBGE be considered as an agent for the treatment of breast cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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