Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

MiR-181a contributes to bufalin-induced apoptosis in PC-3 prostate cancer cells

Xiao-feng Zhai1, Fan-fu Fang2, Qun Liu1, Yong-bin Meng1, Yu-yu Guo1 and Zhe Chen1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Integrative Oncology, Changhai Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China

2 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Changhai Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:325  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-325

Published: 23 November 2013

Abstract

Background

Bufalin is a major active compound of cinobufacini, which comes from dried toad venom and has been used for treatments of various cancers in China for many years. A number of studies have demonstrated that bufalin can induce apoptosis in some cancers. However, effects and mechanism of bufalin on prostate cancer cells remain unknown.

Methods

Apoptosis assay was measured by the annexin-V/PI flow cytometric assay. Western blot was used to measure Caspase-3 and Bcl-2. qRT-PCR was used to measure the relative expression of miR-181a.

Results

Bufalin was found to induce the expression of miR-181a, a small non-coding RNA believed to induce apoptosis by repressing its target gene, BCL-2. In prostate cancer PC-3cell line, bufalin-induced apoptosis can be largely attenuated by a miR-181a inhibitor, which blocked bufalin-induced Bcl-2 reduction and caspase-3 activation.

Conclusions

Our dataindicatedthat miR-181a mediates bufalin-induced apoptosis in PC-3 cells. Thus, we presented here a new pharmacological mechanism for bufalin in anti-tumor therapy.

Keywords:
miR-181a; Bufalin; Apoptosis; Prostate cancer; Traditional Chinese medicine