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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 457193, 10 pages
Research Article

Bufalin Inhibits HCT116 Colon Cancer Cells and Its Orthotopic Xenograft Tumor in Mice Model through Genes Related to Apoptotic and PTEN/AKT Pathways

Department Surgery, Putuo Hospital, University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Shanghai, Shanghai 200062, China

Received 19 January 2015; Revised 23 May 2015; Accepted 27 May 2015

Academic Editor: Alessandro Passardi

Copyright © 2015 Jie 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.


Aims. To investigate the anticolorectal cancer (CRC) effects of Bufalin, a bioactive polyhydroxysteroid from Venenum Bufonis, using HCT116 human CRC cell and an established orthotopic xenograft model in mice, and to explore the mechanisms of action. Material and Methods. Cultured HCT116 cells or BALB/c mice with orthotopic tumor were treated by Bufalin (positive control: 5-FU). Cell proliferation, apoptosis, and cycling were determined by MTT, Annexin V/PI staining, and flow cytometry, respectively. In mice, tumor inhibition rate and animal survival were calculated. The expressions of PTEN/phosphate-PTEN, AKT/phosphate-AKT, Bad, Bcl-xl, Bax, or Caspase-3 in cells and/or tumors were determined by Western blot or immunohistochemical staining. Results. Bufalin significantly inhibited cell proliferation and induced cell apoptosis and cycle arrest in a dose/time-dependent manner. In the animal model, Bufalin treatment resulted in significant inhibition of tumor growth and prolonged survival. In the Bufalin-treated cultured cells and/or xenograft tumors, the expressions of PTEN, Bad, Bax, and Caspase-3 were significantly increased, while p-AKT and Bcl-xL significantly decreased. Conclusions. Our results indicate that Bufalin inhibit cell proliferation and orthotopic tumor growth by inducing cell apoptosis through the intrinsic apoptotic pathway, which is of pivotal significance in the identification of an anticancer drug that may synergize with Bufalin.