About this Journal Submit a Manuscript Table of Contents
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 231874, 10 pages
Research Article

Oyaksungisan, a Traditional Herbal Formula, Inhibits Cell Proliferation by Induction of Autophagy via JNK Activation in Human Colon Cancer Cells

1Korean Medicine- (KM-)Based Herbal Drug Research Group, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine (KIOM), Daejeon 305-811, Republic of Korea
2Division of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Department of Biomaterials Engineering, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701, Republic of Korea

Received 19 September 2012; Revised 8 January 2013; Accepted 21 January 2013

Academic Editor: Francesca Borrelli

Copyright © 2013 Nam-Hui Yim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Oyaksungisan (OY) is a traditional herbal formula broadly used to treat beriberi, vomiting, diarrhea, and circulatory disturbance in Asian countries from ancient times. The effect of OY on cancer, however, was not reported until now. In this study, we have demonstrated that OY inhibits cell proliferation and induces cell death via modulating the autophagy on human colon cancer cells. In HCT116 cells, OY increased the ratio of LC3-II/LC3-I, a marker of autophagy, and treatment with 3-MA, an inhibitor of autophagy, and considerably reduced the formation of autophagosomes. In addition, OY regulated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades; especially, JNK activation was closely related with autophagy effect by OY in HCT116 cells. Our results indicate that autophagy induction is responsible for the antiproliferative effect by OY, despite the weak apoptosis induction in HCT116 cells. In conclusion, OY might have a potential to be developed as an herbal anticancer remedy.