Journal of Natural Medicines

, Volume 72, Issue 1, pp 57–63 | Cite as

The anti-tumor effect of pachymic acid on osteosarcoma cells by inducing PTEN and Caspase 3/7-dependent apoptosis

  • Huilong Wen
  • Zhong Wu
  • Huidong Hu
  • Yixiong Wu
  • Gang Yang
  • Jiajun Lu
  • Guang Yang
  • Gang GuoEmail author
  • Qirong DongEmail author
Original Paper


Pachymic acid (PA) is a lanostane type triterpenoid isolated from Poria cocos, which possesses an anti-tumor effect in breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and bladder cancer cells. In this study, we investigated the effect of PA on the growth and apoptosis of human immortalized cell line (HOS) and primary osteosarcoma cells by a Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) and Annexin V and propidium iodide (PI) staining, respectively. Western blot was used to measure the expression of cleaved Caspase 3, PTEN, and AKT, as well as the AKT phosphorylation. The Caspase 3 activity was determined using the Caspase-3 Colorimetric Assay Kit. From the results, PA significantly reduced cell proliferation in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. PA also induced cell apoptosis in a dose-dependent fashion. PA treatment led to increased Caspase 3 activation and PTEN expression, as well as reduced AKT phosphorylation. Moreover, Ac-DEVD-CHO (a Caspase 3/7 inhibitor) pre-treatment or PTEN knockdown partially blocked the effects of PA on cell proliferation and apoptosis. Caspase 3/7 inhibitor had an additive effect with PTEN knockdown. Collectively, our results suggested that induction of apoptosis by PA was mediated in part by PTEN/AKT signaling and Caspase 3/7 activity. This study provides evidence that PA might be useful in the treatment of human osteosarcoma.


Pachymic acid Osteosarcoma PTEN Caspase 3 Apoptosis 


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Pharmacognosy and Springer Japan KK 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huilong Wen
    • 1
    • 3
  • Zhong Wu
    • 2
  • Huidong Hu
    • 1
  • Yixiong Wu
    • 1
  • Gang Yang
    • 1
  • Jiajun Lu
    • 1
  • Guang Yang
    • 3
  • Gang Guo
    • 4
    Email author
  • Qirong Dong
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of OrthopedicsChangzhou Tumor Hospital Affiliated to Suzhou UniversityChangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedics, Shanghai Tenth People’s HospitalTongji University School of MedicineShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of OrthopedicsThe Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow UniversitySuzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Emergency, Tongji HospitalTongji University School of MedicineShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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