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Therapeutic Effects of Punicalagin Against Ovarian Carcinoma Cells in Association With β-Catenin Signaling Inhibition
  1. Jian-ming Tang, BMed,
  2. Jie Min, MMed,
  3. Bing-shu Li, MMed,
  4. Sha-sha Hong, MMed,
  5. Cheng Liu, PhD,
  6. Ming Hu, MMed,
  7. Yang Li, BMed,
  8. Jiang Yang, BMed and
  9. Li Hong, PhD
  1. Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Li Hong, PhD, Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, 238 Jiefang Rd, Wuhan, Hubei 430060, P.R. China. E-mail: drhongli7777{at}


Aim The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of punicalagin, a polyphenol isolated from Punica granatum, on human A2780 ovarian cancer cells in vitro.

Methods The viability of human A2780 ovarian cells was evaluated using Cell Counting Kit-8 assay. Cell cycle was detected with flow cytometry analysis. The protein expression levels of Bcl-2, Bax, β-catenin, cyclin D1, survivin, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-2, and TIMP-3 were measured using Western blot analysis. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 activity was determined with gelatin zymography. Wound healing assay was used to determine cell migration.

Results Punicalagin inhibited the cell viability of A2780 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner, and the cell cycle of A2780 cells was arrested in G1/S phase transition. The treatment also induced apoptosis as shown by the up-regulation of Bax and down-regulation of Bcl-2. On the other hand, punicalagin treatment increased the expressions of TIMP-2 and TIMP-3, decreased the activities of MMP-2 and MMP-9, and inhibited cell migration. In addition, the β-catenin pathway was suppressed as shown by the down-regulations of β-catenin and its downstream factors including cyclin D1 and survivin.

Conclusions Punicalagin may have cancer-chemopreventive as well as cancer-chemotherapeutic effects against human ovarian cancer in humans through the inhibition of β-catenin signaling pathway.

  • Punicalagin
  • Ovarian cancer
  • β-catenin
  • Cell cycle
  • Cell migration
  • Apoptosis

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.