Tumor Biology

, Volume 36, Issue 7, pp 5179–5186 | Cite as

A polysaccharide from Andrographis paniculata induces mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis in human hepatoma cell line (HepG2)

  • Yanmei Zou
  • Hua Xiong
  • Huihua Xiong
  • Tao Lu
  • Feng Zhu
  • Zhiyong Luo
  • Xianglin Yuan
  • Yihua Wang
Research Article


In the present study, we investigated the effects and action mechanisms of a purified polysaccharide (APWP) from Andrographis paniculata, on human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) HepG2 cells. The results showed that APWP was able to suppress the proliferation of HepG2 cells via inducing apoptosis. Western blot analysis revealed that dose-dependent increase in proapoptotic Bax protein and no change in antiapoptotic Bcl-2 protein in APWP-treated cells. Furthermore, exposure of tumor cells to APWP resulted in a loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and the release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria to the cytosol. Besides, caspase-9 and caspase-3 were activated while caspase-8 was not affected in HepG2 cells followed by APWP treatment. All these results point clearly to the involvement of mitochondria-mediated signaling pathway in APWP-induced apoptosis and strongly suggest that APWP seems to be safe and effective in the prevention and treatment of HCC.


Andrographis paniculata Polysaccharides Hepatocellular carcinoma Apoptosis Mitochondria 



This work was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation of China (Nos. 81201779 and 81372434)

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanmei Zou
    • 1
  • Hua Xiong
    • 1
  • Huihua Xiong
    • 1
  • Tao Lu
    • 2
  • Feng Zhu
    • 2
  • Zhiyong Luo
    • 3
  • Xianglin Yuan
    • 1
  • Yihua Wang
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Oncology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Basic MedicineHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  3. 3.Division of Breast and Thyroid Surgery, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  4. 4.Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Ltd., Nuffield, Department of Clinical MedicineUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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