Oncology reports

Mechanisms and in vitro effects of cepharanthine hydrochloride: Classification analysis of the drug-induced differentially-expressed genes of human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells.

PMID 26260412


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is the most commonly diagnosed head and neck malignancy and is prevalent worldwide. Previous studies have demonstrated the antitumor properties of cepharanthine hydrochloride (CH) in several human cancer cells. However, the action of CH in NPC cells has yet to be determined. In the present study, we investigated the effects of CH in human NPC cell lines including CNE-1 and CNE-2 on cell growth and apoptosis in vitro. Using MTT and ATP-tumor chemosensitivity assays it was found that CH inhibited cell viability. Additionally, flow cytometric and analysis electron microscopy revealed the inhibition of cell cycle progression and reduction of apoptosis, respectively, in human NPC cell lines including CNE-1 and CNE-2 in vitro. To identify the potential action mechanisms of CH, the cDNA microarray analysis results were confirmed by quantitative PCR analysis using a number of genes, including CDKN1A/P21, NR4A1/TR3 and DAXX. In total, 138 upregulated and 63 downregulated genes in CNE-2 cells were treated with CH. According to their biological function, the genes were classified as: i) cell cycle-related genes; ii) DNA repair‑related genes; iii) apoptosis-related genes and iv) nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) transcription factors signal pathways. The results of the present study showed that CH is a potential therapeutic agent against human NPC, and provide rational explanations and a scientific basis for the study of the development of CH in the treatment of NPC.