Tumor Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 1403–1409 | Cite as

Artemisinin inhibits gastric cancer cell proliferation through upregulation of p53

  • Hong-Tao Zhang
  • Yun-Long Wang
  • Jie Zhang
  • Qin-Xian Zhang
Research Article


Recent population studies suggest that the use of artemisinin is associated with reduced incidence and improved prognosis of certain cancers. In the current study, we assessed the effect of artemisinin on gastric cancer cells (AGS and MKN74 cells). We found that artemisinin inhibited growth and modulated expression of cell-cycle regulators in these cells. Treatment with artemisinin was also associated with induction of p27kip1 and p21kip1, two negative cell-cycle regulators. Furthermore, we revealed that artemisinin treatment led to an increased expression of p53. Taken together, these results provide evidence for a mechanism that may contribute to the antineoplastic effects of artemisinin suggested by recent population studies and justify further work to explore potential roles for it in gastric cancer prevention and treatment.


Artemisinin p53 Gastric cancer Cell-cycle regulators 


Conflicts of interest


Supplementary material

13277_2013_1193_Fig6_ESM.jpg (81 kb)
Supplementary Figure 6

(A-B) Real-time PCR (A) and Western blot (B) analysis of p53 in MKN74 cells transfected with siRNA oligos against p53 or scramble siRNA (Ctrl). (C-D) Cell proliferation activity was measured by MTT (C) or BrdU (D) incorporation assays in MKN74 cells. Cells were pre-transfected with siRNA oligos against p53 or scramble siRNA (Ctrl) (JPEG 81 kb)

13277_2013_1193_MOESM1_ESM.tif (530 kb)
High resolution image (TIFF 530 kb)
13277_2013_1193_Fig7_ESM.jpg (75 kb)
Supplementary Figure 7

A: Western blot analysis of phosphorylated ERK1/2 in MKN74 cells treated with artemisinin for 1 h. Total ERK1/2 and GAPDH were set as loading controls. B-C: Real-time PCR (B) and western blot (C) analysis of p53 mRNA and protein levels in MKN74 cells in the absence or presence of U0126. Cells were pre-treated with U0126 for 4 h and then exposed to artemisinin for another 24 h. (JPEG 74 kb)

13277_2013_1193_MOESM2_ESM.tif (404 kb)
High resolution image (TIFF 403 kb)


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hong-Tao Zhang
    • 1
  • Yun-Long Wang
    • 2
  • Jie Zhang
    • 3
  • Qin-Xian Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Histology and Embryology, School of Basic MedicineZhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina
  2. 2.Biotech Research CenterHenan ProvinceChina
  3. 3.Department of PathologyXinxiang Medical CollegeXinxiangChina

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