Gallic acid as a selective anticancer agent that induces apoptosis in SMMC-7721 human hepatocellular carcinoma cells
- Guojun Sun
- Shuqin Zhang
- Yanru Xie
- Ziyu Zhang
- Wenjing Zhao
Affiliations: Central Laboratory, Hepatobiliary Disease Hospital of Jilin Province, Changchun, Jilin 130062, P.R. China, Department of Medical Oncology, Lishui Central Hospital, Lishui, Zhejiang 323000, P.R. China
- Published online on: October 30, 2015 https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2015.3845
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Gallic acid (3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid; GA) is a naturally occurring plant polyphenol, isolated from water caltrop, which has been reported to exert anticancer effects. The present study investigated the antiproliferative effects of GA on the HepG2 and SMMC‑7721 human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines using MTT and colony formation assays. In particular, the underlying mechanism of GA‑induced apoptosis in SMMC‑7721 cells was studied in vitro by flow cytometry and western blotting. The results of the present study indicated that GA was capable of inhibiting the proliferation of HepG2 and SMMC‑7721 cells in a time‑ and dose‑dependent manner, as well as inducing the apoptosis of SMMC‑7721 cells. GA induced caspase‑3, caspase‑9 and reactive oxygen species activity, elevated the expression of apoptosis regulator Bcl‑2‑like protein 4 and reduced the mitochondrial membrane potential in SMMC‑7721 cells. When compared with HL‑7702 normal human hepatocytes, GA demonstrated selective toxicity for HCC cells. In conclusion, GA is able to induce apoptosis in SMMC‑7721 cells in vitro via mitochondrial‑mediated pathways, and may possess the potential to be a novel therapeutic compound for use in the treatment of HCC.