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Journal of Cancer Prevention

Original Article

Cancer prevention research 2012; 17(2): 87-94

Published online June 30, 2012

© Korean Society of Cancer Prevention

Induction of Apoptosis via Autophagy on SK-Hep1 Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells by Kurarinone Isolated from Sophora flavescens

Soon Jin Kim1, Jae Su Choi2 and Gun-Do Kim1


The dried roots of Sophora flavescens have been used in traditional medicine. Previous studies have shown that the roots of Sophora flvescens have various effects, including anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation and anti-tumor activities. In this study, we targeted the of kurarinone isolated from Sophora flavescens on induction of apoptosis in SK-Hep1 human hepatocarcinoma cells. Kurarinone inhibited the proliferation of SK-Hep1 cells in a dose-dependent manner with IC50 value of 75 ՌM. Western blot analysis revealed that kurarinone reduced the expression of survival-related proteins but induced apoptosis in dose-dependent manner. Induced apoptosis is reflected by not only increase of caspases, cleaved poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) and phosphorylated lamin A/C but also decrease of DNA fragmentation factor (DFF) 45/35. Kurarinone also induced autophagic cell death in the cells through the activation of autophagy-specific gene (Atg), Beclin-1 and microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3). These results indicate that kurarinone induces cell death by both authophagy and apoptosis through the activation of pro-apoptotic proteins and caspase-dependent pathway in SK-Hep1 cells. (Cancer Prev Res 17, 1-94, 2012)

Keywords: Kurarinone, Sophora flavescens, Autophagy, Apoptosis, SK-Hep1

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