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31 December 2020 : Laboratory Research

Piperine Inhibits Cell Proliferation and Induces Apoptosis of Human Gastric Cancer Cells by Downregulating Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase (PI3K)/Akt Pathway

Hanyu Chen1AE, Hongqing Sheng2DF, Yushuo Zhao1EF, Guanghui Zhu1BC*

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.928403

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e928403

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Piperine has been reported to inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis in various cancer cells. This study aimed to explore the efficacy and underlying mechanism of piperine in human gastric cancer.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: MTT assay was performed to examine the effect of piperine (concentrations of 0–300 μM) on the proliferation of human gastric cancer SNU-16 cells and normal human gastric epithelial GES-1 cells. Flow cytometry and Western blot were used to determine cell apoptosis and the expression level of protein (Cyto C, cleaved PARP, cleaved caspase-3, Bax, Bcl-2, Bad, Bcl-xl, PI3K, pPI3K, Akt, and pAkt), respectively. To further investigate the anti-tumor mechanism of piperine in SNU-16 cells, we used a small-molecule Akt activator SC79 in this study. The in vivo mechanism of piperine against gastric cancer was evaluated using a xenograft tumor model.

RESULTS: The results showed that piperine inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis of SNU-16 cells. Piperine upregulated the protein expression of Bax, Bad, Cyto C, cleaved PARP, and cleaved caspase-3, but downregulated the protein expression of Bcl-2, Bcl-xl, pPI3k, and pAkt. However, SC79 reversed the function of piperine on the apoptosis-related proteins. An in vivo study revealed that, compared with the control group, the tumor volume of mice treated with piperine was significantly reduced. Piperine enhanced cleaved caspase-3 expression but decreased Ki-67 expression in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, the nontoxicity effect of piperine was confirmed by H&E staining analysis in kidney and heart tissues of mice.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that piperine inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis of human gastric cancer cells through inhibition of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.

Keywords: Apoptosis, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, piper nigrum, Stomach Neoplasms

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750