Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

Asiatic acid, a triterpene, induces apoptosis and cell cycle arrest through activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in human breast cancer cells.

Abstract Source:

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2005 Apr ;313(1):333-44. Epub 2004 Dec 30. PMID: 15626723

Abstract Author(s):

Ya-Ling Hsu, Po-Lin Kuo, Liang-Tzung Lin, Chun-Ching Lin

Article Affiliation:

Ya-Ling Hsu


This study first investigates the anticancer effect of asiatic acid in two human breast cancer cell lines, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. Asiatic acid exhibited effective cell growth inhibition by inducing cancer cells to undergo S-G2/M phase arrest and apoptosis. Blockade of cell cycle was associated with increased p21/WAF1 levels and reduced amounts of cyclinB1, cyclinA, Cdc2, and Cdc25C in a p53-independent manner. Asiatic acid also reduced Cdc2 function by increasing the association of p21/WAF1/Cdc2 complex and the level of inactivated phospho-Cdc2 and phospho-Cdc25C. Asiatic acid treatment triggered the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway indicated by changing Bax/Bcl-2 ratios, cytochrome c release, and caspase-9 activation, but it did not act on Fas/Fas ligand pathways and the activation of caspase-8. We also found that mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2), and p38, but not c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK), are critical mediators in asiatic acid-induced cell growth inhibition. U0126 [1,4-diamino-2,3-dicyano-1,4-bis(2-aminophenylthio)butadiene] or SB203580 [4-(4-fluorophenyl)-2-(4-methylsulfinylphenyl)-5-(4-pyridyl)-1H-imidazole], specific inhibitors of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase and p38 kinase activities, significantly decreased or delayed apoptosis. Asiatic acid was likely to confine the breast cancer cells in the S-G2/M phase mainly through the p38 pathway, because both SB203580 and p38 small interfering RNA (siRNA) inhibition significantly attenuated the accumulation of inactive phospho-Cdc2 and phospho-Cdc25C proteins and the cell numbers of S-G2/M phase. Moreover, U0126 and ERK siRNA inhibition completely suppressed asiatic acid-induced Bcl-2 phosphorylation and Bax up-regulation, and caspase-9 activation. Together, these results imply a critical role for ERK1/2 and p38 but not JNK, p53, and Fas/Fas ligand in asiatic acid-induced S-G2/M arrest and apoptosis of human breast cancer cells.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

Print Options

Key Research Topics

Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

Subscribe to our informative Newsletter & get Nature's Evidence-Based Pharmacy

Our newsletter serves 500,000 with essential news, research & healthy tips, daily.

Download Now

500+ pages of Natural Medicine Alternatives and Information.

This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

© Copyright 2008-2021 GreenMedInfo.com, Journal Articles copyright of original owners, MeSH copyright NLM.