Oncology reports

Diosgenin induces G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

PMID 25434486


Diosgenin is a major compound of Dioscoreaceae plants such as yam, which is used as a drug in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and a common vegetable worldwide. The anticancer effect of diosgenin has been reported in various tumor cells, including leukemia, gastric, colorectal, and breast cancer. However, the activity of diosgenin on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the underlying mechanism have not been completely investigated. Therefore, we investigated the efficacy and associated mechanisms of diosgenin in HCC cells. Flow cytometric analysis was performed to determine the presence of cell cycle arrest and apopotic cells. Diosgenin significantly inhibited the growth of Bel-7402, SMMC-7721 and HepG2 HCC cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Diosgenin treatment for 24 h induced G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of hepatoma cells. Diosgenin inhibited Akt phosphorylation and upregulated p21 and p27 expression, but did not alter the expression of p53, suggesting diosgenin-induced upregulation of p21 and p57 is p53-independent in HCC cells. Diosgenin induced HCC cell apoptosis by activating caspase cascades -3, -8 and -9. However, diosgenin did not affect Bcl-2 and Bax levels. In conclusion, results of the present study suggest that diosgenin may be an active anti-HCC agent obtained from natural plants and provide new insights in understanding the mechanisms of diosgenin.

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Diosgenin, ≥93%