Anti-Cancer Effect and the Underlying Mechanisms of Gypenosides on Human Colorectal Cancer SW-480 CellsReport as inadecuate

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Gypenosides Gyp, the main components from Gynostemma pentaphyllum Makino, are widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. The present study aimed to investigate the anti-cancer effect and the underlying mechanisms of Gyp on human colorectal cancer cells SW-480.

Materials and Methods

The inhibitory effect of Gyp on SW-480 cells was evaluated by MTT assay. Apoptotic cell death was detected by nuclear Hoechst 33342 staining and DNA fragmentation analysis. Apoptosis was analyzed using Annexin V-PE-7-amino-actinomycin D staining. Cell membrane integrity was evaluated with flow cytometry following PI staining. Changes of mitochondrial membrane potential Δψm were detected through flow cytometry analysis of rhodamine 123 Rh123. The role of reactive oxygen species ROS in Gyp induced cell death was investigated by intracellular ROS generation and general ROS scavenger. Wound-healing assay was carried out to investigate Gyp-inhibited migration of SW-480 cells in vitro. Additionally, the alterations in F-actin microfilaments were analyzed by FITC-labeled phalloidin toxin staining and the morphological changes were evaluated under scanning electron microscope SEM.


After the Gyp treatment, the plasma membrane permeability of SW-480 cell was increased, Δψm was decreased significantly, the level of intracellular ROS level was increased, DNA fragmentation and apoptotic morphology were observed. Cells treated with Gyp exert serious microfilament network collapse as well as the significant decrease in the number of microvilli. Gyp induced the changes of cell viability, cell migration, intracellular ROS generation and nuclear morphology were alleviated obviously by NAC.


The results in this study implied that ROS play an important role in Gyp induced cell toxicity and apoptosis, and the mitochondria damage may be upstream of ROS generation post Gyp treatment. The findings of the present study provide new evidences for anti-tumor mechanisms by which Gyp induces apoptosis in vitro.

Author: Han Yan, Xiaobing Wang, Junfeng Niu, Yaqin Wang, Pan Wang , Quanhong Liu



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