ACS Omega. 2021 Mar 9;6(11):7761-7770. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.0c05565. eCollection 2021 Mar 23.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common malignancies worldwide. As current therapies toward CRC, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, pose limitations, such as multidrug resistance (MDR) as well as the intrinsic and potential cytotoxic effects, necessitating to find more effective treatment options with fewer side effects, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has an advantage in complementary therapies. In the present study, 3-(4,5-dimethylthiozol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT assays), trypan blue staining, colony formation, 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride (DAPI) staining, cell cycle determination, and Annexin V-FITC/PI staining were used to examine the efficacy of Sanjie Yiliu Formula (SJYLF) against CRC proliferation and to investigate its underlying molecular mechanisms through protein expression of various proapoptotic factors by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR) and Western blotting. This four-herb-TCM SJYLF can be suggested as one of the decoctions clinically effective in late-stage cancer treatment. Our results suggest that SJYLF robustly decreased the viability of only CRC cell lines (HCT-8, SW-480, HT-29, and DLD-1) and not the normal human kidney cells (HK-2). Moreover, SJYLF significantly suppressed proliferation and induced apoptosis in HCT-8 and downregulated cyclin D1, CDK4, and BCL-2, while Bax expression was upregulated at both mRNA and protein expression levels.