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Oh D.,Oral Biology Research Institute | Yim M.-J.,Regional Innovation Center for Dental Science and Engineering | Park J.-J.,Regional Innovation Center for Dental Science and Engineering | Kang K.-R.,Oral Biology Research Institute | And 12 more authors.
Oncology Reports | Year: 2015

In the present study, we examined the anticancer properties of berberine in KB oral cancer cells with a specific focus on its cellular mechanism. Berberine did not affect the cell viability of the primary human normal oral keratinocytes that were used as a control. However, the viability of KB cells was found to decrease significantly in the presence of berberine in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, in KB cells, berberine induced the fragmentation of genomic DNA, changes in cell morphology, and nuclear condensation. In addition, caspase-3 and -7 activation, and an increase in apoptosis were observed. Berberine was also found to upregulate significantly the expression of the death receptor ligand, FasL. In turn, this upregulation triggered the activation of pro-apoptotic factors such as caspase-8, -9 and -3 and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). Furthermore, pro-apoptotic factors such as Bax, Bad and Apaf-1 were also significantly upregulated by berberine. Anti-apoptotic factors such as Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL were downregulated. Z-VAD-FMK, a cell-permeable pan-caspase inhibitor, suppressed the activation of caspase-3 and PARP. These results clearly indicate that berberine-induced cell death of KB oral cancer cells was mediated by both extrinsic death receptor-dependent and intrinsic mitochondrial-dependent apoptotic signaling pathways. In addition, berberine-induced upregulation of FasL was shown to be mediated by the p38 MAPK signaling pathway. We also found that berberine-induced migration suppression was mediated by downregulation of MMP-2 and MMP-9 through phosphorylation of p38 MAPK. In summary, berberine has the potential to be used as a chemotherapeutic agent, with limited side-effects, for the management of oral cancer.


Kim J.-S.,Regional Innovation Center for Dental Science and Engineering | Park M.-R.,Regional Innovation Center for Dental Science and Engineering | Lee S.-Y.,Regional Innovation Center for Dental Science and Engineering | Kim D.K.,Regional Innovation Center for Dental Science and Engineering | And 11 more authors.
Oncology Reports | Year: 2014

Licochalcone A (Lico-A) is a natural phenol licorice compound with multiple bioactivities, including anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and osteogenesis-inducing properties. In the present study, we investigated the Lico-A-induced apoptotic effects and examined the associated apoptosis pathway in KB human oral cancer cells. Lico-A decreased the number of viable KB oral cancer cells. However, Lico-A did not have an effect on primary normal human oral keratinocytes. In addition, the IC50 value of Lico-A was determined to be ∼50 μM following dose-dependent stimulation. KB oral cancer cells stimulated with Lico-A for 24 h showed chromatin condensation by DAPI staining, genomic DNA fragmentation by agarose gel electrophoresis and a gradually increased apoptotic cell population by FACS analysis. These data suggest that Lico-A induces apoptosis in KB oral cancer cells. Additionally, Lico-A-induced apoptosis in KB oral cancer cells was mediated by the expression of factor associated suicide ligand (FasL) and activated caspase-8 and -3 and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). Furthermore, in the KB oral cancer cells co-stimulation with a caspase inhibitor (Z-VAD-fmk) and Lico-A significantly abolished the apoptotic phenomena. Our findings demonstrated that Lico-A-induced apoptosis in KB oral cancer cells involves the extrinsic apoptotic signaling pathway, which involves a caspase-dependent FasL-mediated death receptor pathway. Our data suggest that Lico-A be developed as a chemotherapeutic agent for the management of oral cancer.

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