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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 153987, 10 pages
Research Article

β-Elemene Inhibits Cell Proliferation by Regulating the Expression and Activity of Topoisomerases I and IIα in Human Hepatocarcinoma HepG-2 Cells

1Department of Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian, Liaoning 116011, China
2Department of General Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian, Liaoning 116011, China
3Department of Pathology, School of Basic Medicine, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, Liaoning 116023, China

Received 26 March 2015; Revised 27 May 2015; Accepted 30 May 2015

Academic Editor: Xin-yuan Guan

Copyright © 2015 Min Gong 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.


Objective. To investigate the effects of β-Elemene (β-ELE) on the proliferation, apoptosis, and topoisomerase I (TOPO I) and topoisomerase IIα (TOPO IIα) expression and activity of human hepatocarcinoma HepG-2 cells. Methods. After treatment with β-ELE, morphological alterations of HepG-2 cells were observed under an inverted microscope. Cell proliferation was assessed using an MTT assay, cell cycles were analyzed using flow cytometry, and apoptosis was detected by Annexin V/PI staining. The expression of TOPO I and TOPO IIα was analyzed by Western blot techniques, and their activity was measured using the TOPO I-mediated, supercoiled pBR322 DNA relaxation and TOPO IIα-mediated Kinetoplast DNA (kDNA) decatenation assays, respectively. Supercoiled pBR322 and kDNA were also used to determine the direct effect of β-ELE on DNA breaks. Results. β-ELE significantly inhibited HepG-2 cell proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent manner. β-ELE also induced tumor cell arrest at S phase, induced cell apoptosis, and downregulated the protein expression of TOPO I and TOPO IIα in a dose-dependent manner. β-ELE also inhibited TOPO I- and TOPO IIα-mediated DNA relaxation but did not directly induce DNA breakage at any concentration. Conclusion. β-ELE could inhibit the proliferation of HepG-2 cells and interfere with the expression and activity of TOPO I and TOPO IIα.