Tumor Biology

, Volume 36, Issue 12, pp 9437–9446 | Cite as

Assessment of the anticancer mechanism of ferulic acid via cell cycle and apoptotic pathways in human prostate cancer cell lines

  • Canan Eroğlu
  • Mücahit Seçme
  • Gülseren Bağcı
  • Yavuz Dodurga
Research Article


Studies on genetic changes underlying prostate cancer and the possible signaling pathways are getting increased day by day, and new treatment methods are being searched for. The aim of the present study is to investigate the effects of ferulic acid (FA), a phenolic compound, on cell cycle, apoptosis, invasion, and colony formation in the PC-3 and LNCaP prostate cancer cells. The effect of FA on cell viability was determined via a 2,3-bis-(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide (XTT) method. Total RNA was isolated with Tri Reagent. Expression of 84 genes for both cell cycle and apoptosis separately was evaluated by reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR). Protein expressions were evaluated by Western blot analysis. Furthermore, apoptotic effects of FA were observed with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay. Effects of FA on cell invasion and colony formation were determined using Matrigel chamber and colony assay, respectively. The half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) dose of FA was found to be 300 μM in PC-3 cells and 500 μM in LNCaP cells. According to RT-PCR results, it was observed that FA inhibited cell proliferation by increasing the gene expressions of ATR, ATM, CDKN1A, CDKN1B, E2F4, RB1, and TP53 and decreasing the gene expressions of CCND1, CCND2, CCND3, CDK2, CDK4, and CDK6 in PC-3 cells. On the other hand, it was seen that FA suppressed cell proliferation by increasing in the gene expressions of CASP1, CASP2, CASP8, CYCS, FAS, FASLG, and TRADD and decreasing in the gene expressions of BCL2 and XIAP in LNCaP cells. In this study, protein expression of CDK4 and BCL2 genes significantly decreased in these cells. It could induce apoptosis in PC-3 and LNCaP cells. Also, it was observed that FA suppressed the invasion in PC-3 and LNCaP cells. Moreover, it suppressed the colony formation. In conclusion, it has been observed that FA may lead to cell cycle arrest in PC-3 cells while it may cause apoptosis in LNCaP cells.


Apoptosis Cell cycle Colony formation Ferulic acid Invasion Prostate cancer 



Ferulic acid


Cyclin-dependent kinase


Dimethyl sulfoxide




Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labeling


Androgen receptor



This study was produced from the MSc thesis of Canan Eroglu and supported by Instructor Training Program.

Conflicts of interest


Supplementary material

13277_2015_3689_MOESM1_ESM.docx (21 kb)
Table S1 (DOCX 20 kb)
13277_2015_3689_MOESM2_ESM.docx (20 kb)
Table S2 (DOCX 20 kb)


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Canan Eroğlu
    • 1
  • Mücahit Seçme
    • 2
  • Gülseren Bağcı
    • 2
  • Yavuz Dodurga
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Meram MedicineKonya Necmettin Erbakan UniversityKonyaTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of MedicinePamukkale UniversityDenizliTurkey

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