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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 584604, 13 pages
Research Article

Gene Expression Profile of the A549 Human Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma Cell Line following Treatment with the Seeds of Descurainia sophia, a Potential Anticancer Drug

KM-Based Herbal Drug Research Group, Herbal Medicine Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 305-811, Republic of Korea

Received 3 April 2013; Revised 27 May 2013; Accepted 5 June 2013

Academic Editor: Bo-Hyoung Jang

Copyright © 2013 Bu-Yeo Kim 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.


Descurainia sophia has been traditionally used in Korean medicine for treatment of diverse diseases and their symptoms, such as cough, asthma, and edema. Our previous results showed that ethanol extract of the seeds of D. sophia (EEDS) has a potent cytotoxic effect on human cancer cells. In this study, we reveal the molecular events that are induced by EEDS treatment in A549 human lung cancer cells. The dose-dependent effect of EEDS on gene expression was measured via a microarray analysis. Gene ontology and pathway analyses were performed to identify functional involvement of genes regulated by EEDS. From gene expression analyses, two major dose-dependent patterns were observed after EEDS treatment. One pattern consisted of 1,680 downregulated genes primarily involved in metabolic processes (FDR < 0.01). The second pattern consisted of 1,673 upregulated genes primarily involved in signaling processes (FDR < 0.01). Pathway activity analyses revealed that the metabolism-related pathways and signaling-related pathways were regulated by the EEDS in dose-dependent and reciprocal manners. In conclusion, the identified biphasic regulatory mechanism involving activation of signaling pathways may provide molecular evidence to explain the inhibitory effect of EEDS on A549 cell growth.