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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2018, Article ID 8567905, 14 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/8567905
Research Article

Decoction of Chinese Herbal Medicine Fuzheng Kang-Ai Induces Lung Cancer Cell Apoptosis via STAT3/Bcl-2/Caspase-3 Pathway

1Department of Oncology, Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine, The Second Clinical Medical College, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510120, China
2The Postdoctoral Research Station, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510120, China
3Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Clinical Research on Traditional Chinese Medicine Syndrome, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
4Laboratory of Tumor Biology, Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine, The Second Clinical Medical Collage, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510120, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Wanyin Wu; moc.621@niynaww and Swei Sunny Hann; moc.kooltuo@2102nnah

Received 21 December 2017; Revised 11 March 2018; Accepted 27 March 2018; Published 25 June 2018

Academic Editor: Min Li

Copyright © 2018 Sumei Wang 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.

Abstract

Decoction of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) Fuzheng Kang-Ai (FZKA for short) has been applied as adjuvant treatment strategy in advanced lung cancer patients for decades. We previously showed that FZKA decoction inhibited proliferation of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells through activation of AMP-activated protein kinase alpha (AMPKα) signaling pathway, followed by inducing insulin-like growth factor (IGF) binding protein 1 (IGFBP1) and forkhead homeobox type O3a (FOXO3a) proteins, and enhanced the inhibition effect of gefitinib in lung cancer cell growth via inactivating PI3-K/Akt-mediated suppressing of cell surface-associated mucin-1 (MUC1) expression. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanism by which FZKA decoction affected cell apoptosis in lung cancer cells. Our results show that FZKA induced apoptosis in lung cancer cells. Mechanistically, FZKA activated the caspase-3, PARP, and caspase-9 activities. Both antiapoptotic and proapoptotic proteins from Bcl-2 family were deregulated by FZKA exposure in lung cancer cells. In addition, FZKA reduced protein expressions of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and Jun activation domain-binding protein 1 (Jab1), while it concomitantly increased p21 protein. Moreover, the inhibitor of caspase-3 resisted the effect of FZKA on induction of apoptosis. Finally, exogenous overexpression of STAT3 overcame FZKA-inhibited protein expressions of Bcl-2 and myeloid cell leukemia-1 (Mcl-1) as well as Bax and blocked FZKA-induced activities of caspase-3 and caspase-9. Our results show that FZKA decoction promotes lung cancer cell apoptosis through STAT3/Bcl-2/caspase-3 signaling pathways. This study unveils potential novel molecular mechanism by which FZKA controls growth of human lung cancer cells.