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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 725023, 12 pages
Research Article

Anticancer Activity of Saponins from Allium chinense against the B16 Melanoma and 4T1 Breast Carcinoma Cell

Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Microbial Molecular Biology-State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Microbial Molecular Biology, College of Life Science, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, China

Received 28 January 2015; Accepted 20 March 2015

Academic Editor: Avni Sali

Copyright © 2015 Zhihui Yu 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.


The cytotoxic substance of A. chinense saponins (ACSs) was isolated using ethanol extraction and purified with the D101 macroporous adsorption resin approach. We investigated the anticancer activity of ACSs in the B16 melanoma and 4T1 breast carcinoma cell lines. Methylthioninium chloride and hematoxylin-eosin staining with Giemsa dyestuff were used when the cells were treated with ACSs. The results showed that the cells morphologies changed significantly; ACSs induced cell death in B16 and 4T1 cells based on acridine orange/ethidium bromide double fluorescence staining, with the number and degree of apoptotic tumor cells increasing as ACS concentration increased. ACSs inhibited the proliferation of B16 and 4T1 cells in a dose-dependent manner. They also inhibited cell migration and colony formation and exhibited a concentration-dependent effect. In addition, ACSs apparently inhibited the growth of melanoma in vivo. The preliminary antitumor in vivo assay revealed that early medication positively affected tumor inhibition action and effectively protected the liver and spleen of C57 BL/6 mice from injury. This study provides evidence for the cytotoxicity of ACSs and a strong foundation for further research to establish the theoretical basis for cell death and help in the design and development of new anticancer drugs.