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The Journal of Internal Korean Medicine > Volume 24(1); 2003 > Article
The Journal of Internal Korean Medicine 2003;24(1): 134-143.
Apoptosis and Anti-proliferation by Saussurea lappa and Pharbits nil in AGS Human Gastric Cancer Cell Line
Seong-Gyu Ko1,2, Hee-Rah Oh1, Sun-Dong Lee3, Gwi-Seo Hwang4
1Department of Internal Medicine, College of Oriental Medicine, Sangji University, Korea
2Department of Tumor Biology, Cancer Research Institute, College of Medcine, Seoul National University, Korea
3Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Oriental Medicine, Sangji University, Korea
4Department of Preventive Medicine, Kyungwon University School of Oriental Medicine, , Korea
Correspondence  Seong-Gyu Ko ,Email: sgko9209@snu.ac.kr, sgko@cpt.snu.ac.kr
Received: December 1, 2002,   Accepted: January 15, 2003,   Published online: March 30, 2003.
We performed this study to understand the molecular basis of the antitumor effect of Saussurea lappa, Pharbitis nil, Plantago asiatica and Taraxacum mongolicum, which have been used for cancer treatment in Korean traditional medicine.

We analyzed, the effect of these medicinal herbs on proliferation and apoptosis of tumor cells and its association with gene expression. We performed semi-quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of cell cycle- and apoptosis-related genes using a gastric cancer cell line AGS.

Cell counting assay and [3H]thymidine uptake analysis showed that Saussurea lappa and Pharbitis nil strongly inhibit cell proliferation of AGS in a dose-dependent manner. Interestingly, gene espression assay revealed that mRNA espression levels of c-Jun, c-Fos, c-Myc, and Cyclin D1 were markedly decreased by Saussurea lappa and Pharbitis nil. Furthermore, Saussurea lappa was identified to activate expression of the p53 tumor suppressor and its downstream effector p21Waf1, which leads to G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. These observations suggest that the anticancer effect of Saussurea lappa and Pharbitis nil might be associated with their regulatory capability of tumor-related gene expression.
Key words: Saussurea lappa, Pharbitis nil, antitumor effect, protooncogenes, p53
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