Anti-tumor activities ofsaponins and potential biomarkers in prostate cancer.
J Ginseng Res. 2021 Mar ;45(2):273-286. Epub 2020 Jan 7. PMID: 33841008
Background: Prostate carcinoma is the second most common cancer among men worldwide. Developing new therapeutic approaches and diagnostic biomarkers for prostate cancer (PC) is a significant need. The Chinese herbal medicinesaponins (PQS) have been reported to show anti-tumor effects. We hypothesized that PQS exhibits anti-cancer activity in human PC cells and we aimed to search for novel biomarkers allowing early diagnosis of PC.
Methods: We used the human PC cell line DU145 and the prostate epithelial cell line PNT2 to perform cell viability assays, flow cytometric analysis of the cell cycle, and FACS-based apoptosis assays. Microarray-based gene expression analysis was used to display specific gene expression patterns and to search for novel biomarkers. Western blot and quantitative real-time PCR were performed to demonstrate the expression levels of multiple cancer-related genes.
Results: Our data showed that PQS inhibited the viability of DU145 cells and induced cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase. A significant decrease in DU145 cell invasion and migration were observed after 24 h treatment by PQS. PQS up-regulated the expression levels of p21, p53, TMEM79, ACOXL, ETV5, and SPINT1 while it down-regulated the expression levels of bcl2, STAT3, FANCD2, DRD2, and TMPRSS2.
Conclusion: PQS promoted cells apoptosis and inhibited the proliferation of DU145 cells, which suggests that PQS may be effective for treating PC. TMEM79 and ACOXL were expressed significantly higher in PNT2 than in DU145 cells and could be novel biomarker candidates for PC diagnosis.