Polyphyllin VI, a main active saponin isolated from traditional medicinal plant Paris polyphylla, has exhibited antitumor activities in several cancer cell lines. In the present study, we investigated the antitumor effect of Polyphyllin VI against human osteosarcoma cells (U2OS) and the underlying molecular mechanisms.
The U2OS cell lines were used to determine the antiproliferative effect of Polyphyllin VI by CCK8 assay. Cell cycle was analyzed by flow cytometry. The Polyphyllin VI-induced apoptosis was determined by Annexin V-APC/7-AAD apoptosis detection kit and JC-1 staining. Meanwhile, the autophagy was determined by acridine orange staining. The apoptosis and autophagy-related proteins were monitored by Western blot assay. Subsequently, intracellular hydrogen peroxide (H 2O 2) and the activation of ROS/JNK pathway were detected.
Polyphyllin VI could potently inhibit cell proliferation by causing G2/M phase arrest. Polyphyllin VI induced mitochondria-mediated apoptosis with the upregulation of proapoptotic proteins Bax and poly ADP-ribose polymerase, and downregulation of antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 in U2OS cells. Concomitantly, Polyphyllin VI provoked autophagy with the upregulation of critical Atg proteins and accumulation of LC3B-II. Intracellular H 2O 2 production was triggered upon exposure to Polyphyllin VI, which could be blocked by ROS scavenger. Polyphyllin VI dramatically promoted JNK phosphorylation, whereas it decreased the levels of phospho-p38 and ERK.