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Induction of G1 arrest and apoptosis by schisandrin C isolated from Schizandra chinensis Baill in human leukemia U937 cells

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We isolated two phytochemical lignans, schisandrin and schisandrin C, from Schizandra chinensis Baill and investigated their anti-cancer effects in human leukemia U937 cells. Schisandrin C inhibited cell growth in a dose-dependent manner, which was associated with the induction of G1 arrest of the cell cycle and apoptosis; schisandrin did not inhibit growth. Schisandrin C induced G1 arrest was correlated with down-regulation of cyclin D1, cyclin E, cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) 4 and E2Fs expression, inhibition of phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein (pRB), and up-regulation of the Cdk inhibitor p21(WAF1/CIP1). In addition, schisandrin C-induced apoptosis was associated with down-regulation of expression of the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, proteolytic activation of caspase-3 and -9, and a concomitant degradation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). Furthermore, schisandrin C-induced apoptosis was significantly inhibited by a caspase-3 specific inhibitor z-DEVD-fmk, indicating an important role for caspase-3 in the schisandrin C mechanism. In summary, growth inhibition by schisandrin C is related to cell cycle arrest at G1 and induction of caspase-3-dependent apoptosis in U937 cells; these findings suggest that schisandrin C may be a useful chemotherapeutic agent.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Blue-Bio Industry Regional Innovation Center, Dongeui University, Busan 614-052, Korea

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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