Platycodin D (PD), a triterpenoid saponin isolated from the Chinese medicinal herb Platycodonis radix, possesses anti-cancer effects in several cancer cell lines. The aim of this study was to evaluate its anti- cancer activities in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
MTT and colony formation assays were performed to evaluate cell proliferation, along with flow cytometry and Western blotting for apoptosis. Cell adhesion was tested by observing cellular morphology under a microscope, while the transwell assay was employed to investigate the cell migration and invasion.
PD concentration-dependently inhibited cell proliferation in both HepG2 and Hep3B cells, and significantly suppressed colony formation and induced apoptosis in HepG2 cells. The protein levels of cleaved poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) and Bax were up-regulated while that of survivin was down-regulated after treatment with PD. Moreover, PD not only obviously suppressed the adhesion of HepG2 cells to Matrigel, but also remarkably depressed their migration and invasion induced by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA).
PD presents anti-cancer potential in hepatocellular carcinoma cells via inducing apoptosis, and inhibiting cell adhesion, migration and invasion, indicating promising features as a lead compound for anti-cancer agent development.