Fructus phyllanthi tannin fraction induces apoptosis and inhibits migration and invasion of human lung squamous carcinoma cells in vitro via MAPK/MMP pathways

Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2015 Apr 13. doi: 10.1038/aps.2014.130. [Epub ahead of print]



Fructus phyllanthi tannin fraction (PTF) from the traditional Tibetan medicine Fructus phyllanthi has been found to inhibit lung and liver carcinoma in mice. In this study we investigated the anticancer mechanisms of PTF in human lung squamous carcinoma cells in vitro.


Human lung squamous carcinoma cell line (NCI-H1703), human large-cell lung cancer cell line (NCI-H460), human lung adenocarcinoma cell line (A549) and human fibrosarcoma cell line (HT1080) were tested. Cell viability was detected with MTT assay. Cell migration and invasion were assessed using a wound healing assay and a transwell chemotaxis chambers assay, respectively. Cell apoptosis was analyzed with flow cytometric analysis. The levels of apoptosis-related and metastasis-related proteins were detected by Western blot and immunofluorescence.


PTF dose-dependently inhibited the viability of the 3 human lung cancer cells. The IC50 values of PTF in inhibition of NCI-H1703, NCI-H460 and A549 cells were 33, 203 and 94 mg/L, respectively. PTF (15, 30 and 60 mg/L) dose-dependently induced apoptosis of NCI-H1703 cells. Treatment of NCI-H1703 and HT1080 cells with PTF significantly inhibited cell migration, and reduced the number of invasive cells through Matrigel. Furthermore, PTF dose-dependently down-regulated the expression of phosphor-ERK1/2, MMP-2 and MMP-9, up-regulated the expression of phosphor-JNK, but had no significant effect on the expression of ERK1/2 or JNK.


PTF induces cell apoptosis and inhibits the migration and invasion of NCI-H1703 cells by decreasing MPPs expression through regulation of the MAPK pathway.