Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 881–893 | Cite as

Progression of conventional hepatic cell culture models to bioengineered HepG2 cells for evaluation of herbal bioactivities

  • Pardeep Kaur
  • Robin
  • Rajendra G. Mehta
  • Saroj Arora
  • Balbir Singh


Cancer cell lines of human tissue origin have been extensively used to investigate antiproliferative activity and toxicity of herbal extracts, isolated compounds, and anticancer drugs. These cell lines are genetically and/or epigenetically well characterized to determine the altered expression of proteins within given cellular pathways and critical genes in cancer. Human derived hepatoma (HepG2) cell line has been extensively exploited to examine cytoprotective, antioxidative, hepatoprotective, anti-hepatoma, hypocholesterolemic, anti-steatosis, bioenergetic homeostatic and anti-insulin resistant properties. Moreover, mechanism of action of various botanicals and bioactive constituents has been reported using these cells. HepG2 cells have significant differences as compared to primary hepatocytes with respect to expression of cytochrome P450 enzymes and xenobiotic receptors in conventional in vitro culture conditions. Therefore, strategies have been employed to overcome limitations of two dimensional (2D) in vitro HepG2 cell culture in order to recognize functional biomarkers more accurately and to boost its predictive value in clinical research. In consequence, three dimensional (3D) human hepatoma cell culture models are being developed as a resource to achieve these goals of simulating the in vivo tumor microenvironment. It is assumed that bioengineered 3D hepatoma cell culture models can provide significant assistance in scrutinizing the molecular response of herbal natural products to recognize novel prognostic targets and crucial biomarkers in treatment strategies for cancer patients in near future.


Bioengineering Biomarkers HepG2 Herbal bioactivity In vitro model 



The first author duly acknowledges the University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi for providing Scholarship under the Scheme MANF (vide Grant No. 201213-MANF-2012-13-SIK-PUN-16650).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pardeep Kaur
    • 1
  • Robin
    • 1
  • Rajendra G. Mehta
    • 2
  • Saroj Arora
    • 1
  • Balbir Singh
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Botanical and Environmental SciencesGuru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsarIndia
  2. 2.Cancer Biology DivisionIIT Research InstituteChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesGuru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsarIndia

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