Multiple effects of berberine derivatives on colon cancer cells.
Guamán Ortiz LM, Tillhon M, Parks M, Dutto I, Prosperi E, Savio M, Arcamone AG, Buzzetti F, Lombardi P, Scovassi AI
Biomed Res Int. 2014
The pharmacological use of the plant alkaloid berberine is based on its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties; recently, anticancer activity has been attributed to this compound. To exploit this interesting feature, we synthesized three berberine derivatives, namely, NAX012, NAX014, and NAX018, and we tested their effects on two human colon carcinoma cell lines, that is, HCT116 and SW613-B3, which are characterized by wt and mutated p53, respectively. We observed that cell proliferation is more affected by cell treatment with the derivatives than with the lead compound; moreover, the derivatives proved to induce cell cycle arrest and cell death through apoptosis, thus suggesting that they could be promising anticancer drugs. Finally, we detected typical signs of autophagy in cells treated with berberine derivatives.