Anticancer effects of crocetin in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma KYSE-150 cells.
Oncol Lett. 2015 Mar ;9(3):1254-1260. Epub 2015 Jan 13. PMID: 25663893
Crocetin is the main pharmacologically-active component of saffron and has been considered as a promising candidate for cancer chemoprevention. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the anticancer effects of crocetin and the possible mechanisms of these properties in the esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cell line KYSE-150. The KYSE-150 cells were cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium and incubated with 0, 12.5, 25, 50, 100 or 200μmol/l crocetin for 48 h. Cell proliferation was measured using an MTT assay. Hoechst 33258 staining and observation under fluorescent microscopy were used to analyze the proapoptotic effects of crocetin. The migration rate was assessed by a wound-healing assay. The cell cycle distribution was analyzed using flow cytometry analysis subsequent to propidium iodide staining. The expression of B-cell lymphoma-2-associated X protein (Bax) and cleaved caspase 3 was determined by western blot analysis. It was found that treatment of KYSE-150 cells with crocetin for 48 h significantly inhibited the proliferation of the cells in a concentration-dependent manner, and the inhibition of proliferation was associated with S phase arrest. Crocetin was also found to induce morphological changes and cell apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner through increased expression of proapoptotic Bax and activatedcaspase 3. In addition, crocetin suppressed the migration of KYSE-150 cells. The present study provides evidence that crocetin exerts a prominent chemopreventive effect against esophageal cancer through the inhibition of cell proliferation, migration and induction of apoptosis. These findings revealthat crocetin may be considered to be a promising future chemotherapeutic agent for esophageal cancer therapy.