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Anticancer Res. 2017 Nov;37(11):6141-6151.

Berberine and Evodiamine Act Synergistically Against Human Breast Cancer MCF-7 Cells by Inducing Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis.

Author information

1
Research Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine Complexity System, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, P.R. China.
2
Cancer Center, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, U.S.A.
3
Research Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine Complexity System, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, P.R. China shibingsu07@163.com tazhou@163.com mingz@hotmail.com.
4
AntiCancer Inc., San Diego, CA, U.S.A.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIM:

The synergistic combinations of natural products have long been the basis of Traditional Chinese herbal Medicine formulas. In this study, we investigated the synergistic effects of a combination of berberine and evodiamine against human breast cancer MCF-7 cells in vitro and in vivo, and explored its mechanism.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Cell survival was measured using the MTT assay. Apoptosis-related proteins were observed using western blot analysis. Apoptosis was detected with flow cytometric analysis and by Hoechst 33258 staining. Tumor xenografts were used in vivo.

RESULTS:

Compared to berberine or evodiamine treatments alone, the combination treatment of berberine (25 μM) and evodiamine (15 μM) synergistically inhibited the proliferation of MCF-7 cells in a time-dependent manner and resulted in the G0/G1 phase accumulation of cells that exhibited increased expression levels of the CDK inhibitors p21 and p27 with a concomitant reduction in the expression levels of cell-cycle checkpoint proteins cyclin D1, cyclin E, CDK4, and CDK6. Furthermore, the combination treatment induced apoptosis that was accompanied by increased expression levels of p53 and Bax, reduced expression levels of Bcl-2, activation of caspase-7, and caspase-9, and the cleavage of PARP. The combination of berberine and evodiamine synergistically inhibited tumor growth in vivo in MCF-7 human breast cancer xenografts.

CONCLUSION:

Combination of berberine and evodiamine acts synergistically to suppress the proliferation of MCF-7 cells by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, illustrating the potential synergistic and combinatorial application of bioactive natural products.

KEYWORDS:

Breast cancer; MCF-7 cell; berberine; evodiamine; synergistic combination

PMID:
29061795
DOI:
10.21873/anticanres.12063
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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