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Exp Ther Med. 2019 Jan;17(1):488-494. doi: 10.3892/etm.2018.6969. Epub 2018 Nov 14.

Saikosaponin D inhibits proliferation of human osteosarcoma cells via the p53 signaling pathway.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Renmin Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, Hubei 442000, P.R. China.
Department of Dermatology, Chongqing First People's Hospital and Chongqing Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, Chongqing 400011, P.R. China.


Saikosaponin D (SSd), the major monomeric terpenoid extracted from Radix bupleuri, a traditional Chinese medicinal herb, exerts various pharmacological properties, including antitumor, anti-inflammatory and antiviral. The present study aimed to investigate the role of SSd in human osteosarcoma (OS) cell growth. In the investigation MTS and EdU assays were applied and flow cytometric analyses of cell cycle and apoptosis were performed. Western blotting and reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses were used to explore the underlying mechanisms of SSd on cell cycle transition and p53 signaling. Here, it was demonstrated that SSd administration at 80 µmol/l significantly inhibited 143B and MG-63 proliferation. Furthermore, SSd significantly increased the percentage of 143B and MG-63 cells in G0-G1 phase and the number of apoptosis cells compared with the control group. Data further demonstrated that SSd treatment upregulated mRNA and protein levels of tumor protein 53 (p53) and its downstream targets, including p21, p27, B-cell lymphoma-2-like protein 4 and cleaved caspase-3, and downregulated mRNA and protein levels of cyclinD1. The results suggested that SSd was a functional tumor suppressor and inhibited OS proliferation via activation of the p53 signaling pathway and may be used in the treatment of osteosarcoma in future.


osteosarcoma; proliferation; saikosaponin D; tumor protein 53; tumor suppressor

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