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Biomed Rep. 2017 Nov;7(5):416-422. doi: 10.3892/br.2017.979. Epub 2017 Sep 11.

Hexane fraction of Pluchea indica root extract inhibits proliferation and induces autophagy in human glioblastoma cells.

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Department of Biological Sciences, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan, R.O.C.
University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
Graduate Institute of Natural Products, School of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Department of Neurosurgery, E-Da Hospital, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung 84001, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Institute of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan, R.O.C.


Pluchea indica (L.) Less. is a perennial plant known for its versatile uses in traditional medicine. Previous findings have shown that the extracts of Pluchea indica possess significant anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer and anti-tuberculosis activity. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the anticancer activity of the hexane fraction of P. indica root extract (H-PIRE) in human glioblastoma cells using flow cytometric and western blot analysis. The results shoewd that, H-PIRE suppressed the growth of glioblastoma cells in a dose-dependent manner. H-PIRE treatment markedly decreased the population of cells in S and G2/M phases. The significant upregulation of acidic vesicular organelle (AVO) was detected during H-PIRE treatment. The expression levels of microtubule-associated light chain 3-II (LC3-II) protein, phosphorylated JNK and phosphorylated p38 were significantly increased, confirming the occurrence of autophagy during the process. Finally, the combination treatment of H-PIRE and LY294002, a pan PI3K inhibitor, further decreased cell viability, suggesting an additive anticancer effect. Taken together, our results suggest that H-PIRE suppresses the proliferation of glioblastoma cells by inducing cell cycle arrest and autophagy.


JNK; LC3-II; acidic vesicular organelle; anticancer; p38

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