Asiatic acid inhibits proliferation, migration and induces apoptosis by regulating Pdcd4 via the PI3K/Akt/mTOR/p70S6K signaling pathway in human colon carcinoma cells.
Oncol Lett. 2018 Jun ;15(6):8223-8230. Epub 2018 Apr 4. PMID: 29805556
Previous studies have demonstrated that asiatic acid (AA), the major component of, is able to meditate cytotoxic and anticancer effects on various types of carcinoma cells. In order to investigate the molecular mechanism that underlies the antitumor effect of AA, the present study investigated the effects of AA on proliferation, migration and apoptosis of SW480 and HCT116 colon cancer cells. Viability and changes in cell morphology in the cells were assessed by MTT assay and transmission electron microscopy, respectively. Colony formation analysis was used to observe proliferation of the single cell, and migratory ability of the cells was assessed by performing Transwell migration assay. Hoechst 33342 nuclear staining and flow cytometry were used to assess apoptosis in colon carcinoma cells. The expression of proteins associated with the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)/p70S6K signaling pathway and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) marker were analyzed by western blotting. The present study revealed that proliferation and migration of colon carcinoma cells were inhibited by AA in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner. Numerous apoptotic bodies were observed, and G/M and S phase progression were delayed in colon cancer cells treated with AA, but not in the control group. A number of phosphorylated proteins, including PI3K, Akt (Ser), mTOR, ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6K) downregulated, while the expression of Pdcd4 was upregulated following treatment with AA. Additionally, AA affects expression of EMT markers in a dose-dependent manner. On the basis of these results, it was concluded that AA inhibited proliferation, migration and induced apoptosis of colon cancer cells by regulating Pdcd4 via the PI3K/Akt/mTOR/p70S6K signaling pathway. These observations suggest that AA may be a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of colon carcinoma.