Published online Apr 1, 2004. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v10.i7.954
Revised: September 14, 2003
Accepted: October 7, 2003
Published online: April 1, 2004
AIM: To investigate the cellular effects of hybrid polar compound hexamethylene bisacetamide (HMBA) on the growth and apoptosis of human hepatocellular carcinoma cells and to provide the molecular mechanism for potential application of HMBA in the treatment of liver cancer.
METHODS: Effects of HMBA on the growth of human hepatocellular carcinoma SMMC-7721 cells were assayed by MTT chronometry. Apoptosis induced by HMBA was detected by phase-contrast microscopy, flow cytometry, propidium iodide staining and immunocytochemical analysis.
RESULTS: The growth of SMMC-7721 cells was significantly inhibited by HMBA, and the growth inhibitory rate was 51.1%, 62.6%, 68.7% and 73.9% respectively after treatment with 5.0, 7.5, 10.0 and 12.5 mmol/L of HMBA. In the cells treated with 10 mmol/L of HMBA for 72 h, the population of cells at sub-G1 phase significantly increased, and the apoptotic bodies and condensed nuclei were detected. Moreover, treatment of SMMC-7721 cells with 10 mmol/L of HMBA down-regulated the expression of Bcl-2 anti-apoptotic protein, while slightly up-regulated the level of pro-apoptotic protein Bax.
CONCLUSION: Treatment with 10.0 mmol/L of HMBA can significantly inhibit the growth and induce apoptosis of human hepatocellular carcinoma SMMC-7721 cells by decreasing the ratio of Bcl-2 to Bax.