Anticancer effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides on colon cancer cells involves G0/G1 phase arrest

Abstract

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide. The anticancer effect of Wolfberry (Lycium barbarum) polysaccharide (LBP) on colon cancer cells is largely unknown. To investigate the growth effect of LBP on human colon cancer cell and its possible mechanisms, human colon cancer SW480 and Caco-2 cells were treated with 100–1,000 mg/l LBP for 1–8 days. Cell growth was measured by MTT assay and crystal violet assay. Distribution of the cell cycle was analyzed by flow cytometry. Western blotting was used to indicate changes in the level of cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). LBP treatment inhibited both colon cancer cell lines in a dose-dependent manner. At concentrations from 400 to 1,000 mg/l, LBP significantly inhibited the growth of SW480 cells (400 mg/l, P < 0.01; 800 and 1,000 mg/l, P < 0.001); while at concentrations from 200 to 1,000 mg/l, LBP significantly inhibited the growth of Caco-2 cells (200 mg/l, P < 0.05; 400–1,000 mg/l, P < 0.001). Crystal violet assay showed that LBP had a long-term anti-proliferative effect. More importantly, cells were arrested at the G0/G1 phase. The changes in cell-cycle-associated protein, cyclins, and CDKs were consistent with the changes in cell-cycle distribution. This is one of the first studies to focus on LBP-induced interruption of the cell cycle in human colon carcinoma cells. The results suggest that LBP is a candidate anticancer agent.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

References

  1. 1.

    Jemal A, et al. Cancer statistics, 2009. CA Cancer J Clin. 2009;59:225–49.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Butler MS. Natural products to drugs: natural product derived compounds in clinical trials. Nat Prod Rep. 2005;22:62–195.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Surh YJ. Cancer chemoprevention with dietary phytochemicals. Nat Rev Cancer. 2003;3:768–80.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Li XM. Protective effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides on streptozotocin-induced oxidative stress in rats. Int J Biol Macromol. 2007;40:461–5.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Amagase H, Nance DM. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical study of the general effects of a standardized Lycium barbarum (goji) juice, GoChi. J Alt Comp Med. 2008;14:403–12.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Chang RC, So KF. Use of anti-aging herbal medicine, Lycium barbarum, against aging-associated diseases. What do we know so far. Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2008;28:643–52.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Miao Y, et al. Growth inhibition and cell-cycle arrest of human gastric cancer cells by Lycium barbarum polysaccharide. Med Oncol. 2009. doi: 10.1007/s12032-009-9286-9.

  8. 8.

    Flick DA, Gifford GE. Comparison of in vitro cell cytotoxic assays for tumor necrosis factor. J Immunol Methods. 1984;68:167–75.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Guo J, Xiao B, Liu Q, Gong Z, Le Y. Suppression of C-myc expression associates with anti-proliferation of aloe-emodin on gastric cancer cells. Cancer Invest. 2008;26:369–74.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Li XM, Ma YL, Liu XJ. Effect of the Lycium barbarum polysaccharides on age-related oxidative stress in aged mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007;111:504–11.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Wu SJ, Ng LT, Lin CC. Anti-oxidant activities of some common ingredients of traditional Chinese medicine, Angelica sinensis, Lycium barbarum and Poria cocos. Phytother Res. 2004;18:1008–12.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Wu H, Guo H, Zhao R. Effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccharide on the improvement of anti-oxidant ability and DNA damage in NIDDM rats. Yakugaku Zasshi. 2006;126:365–71.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Gan L, Zhang SH, Yang XL, Xu HB. Immunomodulation and antitumor activity by a polysaccharide-protein complex from Lycium barbarum. Int Immunopharmacol. 2004;4:563–9.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Gong H, Shen P, Jin L, Xing C, Tang F. Therapeutic effects of Lycium barbarum polysaccharide (LBP) on irradiation or chemotherapy-induced myelosuppressive mice. Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2005;20:155–62.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Cao GW, Yang WG, Du P. Observation of the effects of LAK/IL-2 therapy combining with Lycium barbarum polysaccharides in the treatment of 75 cancer patients. Zhonghua Zhong Liu Za Zhi. 1994;16:428–31.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Amagase H, Sun B, Borek C. Lycium barbarum (goji) juice improves in vivo antioxidant biomarkers in serum of healthy adults. Nutr Res. 2009;29:19–25.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    McDonald ERIII, El-Deiry WS. Checkpoint genes in cancer. Ann Med. 2001;33:113–22.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    McIntosh GG, et al. Determination of the prognostic value of cyclin D1 overexpression in breast cancer. Oncogene. 1995;11:885–91.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Hu QH, et al. The effect of Active components of lycium barbarum and Garlic (LB-GO) on the synthesis of DNA and ultrastructure of U14 cervix cancer cells in mice. Chin J Cancer Res. 1994;6:266–73.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Chen Z, Kwong HTB, Chan SH. Activation of T lymphocytes by polysaccharide-protein complex from Lycium barbarum L. Int Immunopharmacol. 2008;8:1663–71.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Zhang M, et al. Effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccharide on human hepatoma QGY7703 cells: inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis. Life Sci. 2005;76:2115–24.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by Student Innovation and Open Laboratory Program of Ningbo University (No. Cxxkf 2008-066), Student Research and Innovation Program of Ningbo University (2008) and K. C. Wong Magna Fund in Ningbo University.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Bingxiu Xiao or Junming Guo.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mao, F., Xiao, B., Jiang, Z. et al. Anticancer effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides on colon cancer cells involves G0/G1 phase arrest. Med Oncol 28, 121–126 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12032-009-9415-5

Download citation

Keywords

  • Colon cancer
  • Cell cycle
  • Cell growth
  • Lycium barbarum polysaccharides