Erianin inhibits human cervical cancer cell through regulation of tumor protein p53 via the extracellular signal‑regulated kinase signaling pathway
- Mengting Li
- Yulin He
- Cheng Peng
- Xiaofang Xie
- Guanying Hu
Affiliations: State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Systematic Research, Development and Utilization of Chinese Medicine Resources, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan 611137, P.R. China
- Published online on: August 3, 2018 https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2018.9267
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Erianin, a natural bibenzyl compound, is present in Dendrobium chrysotoxum Lindl. (commonly known as Shihu in China), which is used as an antipyretic and analgesic in traditional Chinese medicine, and has been reported to exert inhibitory effects on cancer cells in vitro. Cervical cancer is the third‑most common cancer in women worldwide, and has the highest morbidity rate of gynecological malignancies. Thus, the identification of effective chemotherapeutical agents to treat this disease is urgent. The aim of the present study was to elucidate the biological functions and molecular mechanism of erianin on HeLa cells. Cellular proliferation was assessed using an MTT assay and flow cytometry assay with propidium iodide (PI) staining. Apoptosis rates were observed using a high content screening system via annexin V‑fluorescein isothiocyanate/PI double staining, and measured by flow cytometry. The protein levels of tumor protein p53, extracellular signal‑regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), caspase‑3, B‑cell lymphoma‑2 (Bcl‑2) and Bcl‑2‑associated X (Bax) were assessed by western blot analysis. Erianin inhibited the growth of HeLa cells and induced apoptosis in a dose‑ and time‑dependent manner, inducing cell cycle arrest at the G2/M stage. Erianin treatment also increased the expression of Bax and caspase‑3, but decreased levels of Bcl‑2 and phosphorylated‑ERK1/2. Cells treated with paclitaxel were regarded as the positive group. Together, the results of the present study indicated that erianin could be considered as an effective drug candidate; in HeLa cells it inhibited cellular proliferation and promoted apoptosis via regulation of the ERK1/2 signaling and mitochondrial‑based apoptosis pathways. Thus, erianin has the promise to be developed further for cervical cancer therapy.