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Lupeol inhibits growth and migration in two human colorectal cancer cell lines by suppression of Wnt–β-catenin pathway

Authors Wang YH, Hong D, Qian YQ, Tu XZ, Wang KK, Yang XH, Shao SJ, Kong XL, Lou ZF, Jin LJ

Received 15 August 2018

Accepted for publication 26 September 2018

Published 9 November 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 7987—7999


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sanjeev Srivastava

Video abstract presented by Yihao Wang.

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Yihao Wang,1,2,* Dan Hong,1,* Yuqin Qian,3 Xuezi Tu,1 Keke Wang,1 Xianhong Yang,1 Sijia Shao,1 Xinlong Kong,1 Zhefeng Lou,1 Longjin Jin1

1School of Laboratory Medicine and Life Science, Wenzhou Medical University, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China; 2School of Ophthalmology and Optometry, Wenzhou Medical University, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China; 3School of the first Clinical Medical Sciences, Wenzhou Medical University, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Lupeol, a triterpene isolated from various herbal plants, possesses an anti-inflammatory function and has been proposed as a candidate for anticancer agents. The purpose of this research was to investigate the effect of lupeol on the viability, apoptosis, cell-cycle distribution, and migration of colorectal cancer cell lines and its molecular mechanism.
Methods: Lupeol was assessed for its anticancer effect using two human colorectal cancer cell lines: SW480 and HCT116. These cells were treated with lupeol, and their viability, apoptosis, migration, and cycle distribution were detected by CCK8, flow cytometry, and the transwell method. Quantitative PCR, Western blot, and immunofluorescence were applied to detect the expressions of CTNNB1, TCF4, cMYC, CCND1, CLDN1, and CCNA2.
Results: Lupeol suppressed cell viability and migration and induced cellular apoptosis of both cell lines, with increased p53 and decreased Bcl2 protein levels (P<0.05). Cell cycles of both lupeol-treated cell lines were arrested in the S phase (P<0.05). Quantitative PCR and Western blot analyses showed significantly reduced expressions of CTNNB1, TCF4, and downstream genes of the Wnt–β-catenin pathway, including the cell-cycle-regulated genes of cMYC and CCND1 of both cell lines upon lupeol treatment (P<0.05). mRNA and protein levels of CLDN1 decreased in HCT116 cells, plus the expression of CCNA2 mRNA and protein decreased in SW480 cells (P<0.05). Immunofluorescence analysis confirmed decreased expression of Wnt–β-catenin signaling.
Conclusion: Our findings indicate that lupeol effectively inhibits proliferation and migration and induces apoptosis and cell-cycle arrest of two colorectal cell lines by inactivation of the Wnt–β-catenin signaling pathway and downregulation of cMYC, CCND1, CCNA2, and CLDN1, thereby making it a promising anticancer candidate.

Keywords: lupeol, colorectal cancer, Wnt, β-catenin signaling pathway, proliferation, apoptosis, migration

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