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J Med Signals Sens. 2019 Aug 29;9(3):196-203. doi: 10.4103/jmss.JMSS_44_18. eCollection 2019 Jul-Sep.

Activation of p53 Gene Expression and Synergistic Antiproliferative Effects of 5-Fluorouracil and β-escin on MCF7 Cells.

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Clinical Biochemistry Research Center, Basic Health Sciences Institute, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran.
Department of Medical Physics and Radiology, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran.
Institute for Medical Physics, Ambilly, France.


One of the most common malignancies in women is breast cancer. β-escin has pharmacological anticancer effects. 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) has antimetabolite and antiproliferative properties. The purpose of this study was to investigate the combined effects of 5-FU and β-escin on apoptosis, colony formation, Bcl-2 signaling protein, and p53 gene expression in MCF7 breast cancer cell line. The cytotoxic effects, the number of colonies, apoptosis, p53 gene expression, and Bcl-2 signaling protein of the combined 5-FU and β-escin on MCF7 cells were determined using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide, clonogenic assay, flow cytometry, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and western blotting methods, respectively. Half-maximal inhibitory concentration values of β-escin and 5-FU were 80 μg/ml and 2 μM, respectively. The combination of 5-FU and β-escin on MCF7 cell viability showed a combination index equal to 0.5. The expression of p53 and apoptosis increased in the combination of 5-FU and β-escin on MCF7 cells compared to that of control group (P < 0.05). In addition, the number of colonies and Bcl-2 signaling protein in combination of 5-FU and β-escin decreased with respect to untreated control cells or single treatment of 5-FU and β-escin. The combination of 5-FU and β-escin not only has synergistic effects by increasing cell apoptosis and p53 gene expression but also decreases Bcl-2 signaling protein in MCF7 cell lines.


5-fluorouracil; MCF7; apoptosis; p53; β-escin

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