Hypericum androsaemumwater extract inhibits proliferation in human colorectal cancer cells through effects on MAP kinases and PI3K/Akt pathway†
MAP kinase and PI3K/Akt signalling pathways are commonly altered in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) leading to tumor growth due to increased cell proliferation and inhibition of apoptosis. Several species of the genus Hypericum are used in Portugal to prepare herbal teas to which digestive tract effects are attributed. In the present study, the antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects of the water extracts of H. androsaemum (HA) and H. perforatum (HP) were investigated in two human colon carcinoma-derived cell lines, HCT15 and CO115, which harbour activating mutations of KRAS and BRAF, respectively. Contrarily to HP, HA significantly inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in both cell lines. HA decreased BRAF and phospho-ERK expressions in CO115, but not in HCT15. HA also decreased Akt phosphorylation in CO115 and induced p38 and JNK in both cell lines. HA induced cell cycle arrest at S and G2/M phases as well as caspase-dependent apoptosis in both cell lines.