Dehydroabietic acid inhibits the gastric cancer cell growth via induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest



Gastric cancer is one of the serious malignant tumors with high incidence worldwide. The two commonly used treatment strategies for gastric cancer include chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Conventional anticancer drugs have limited effectiveness. Therefore, it is important to explore new anticancer drugs. Dehydroabietic acid (DAA) is known to have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects. However, there are fewer reports on the effect of DAA on human gastric cancer cell lines.


We investigated the gastric cell growth inhibitory effects of DAA on human gastric cancer cell lines. Gastric cancer cell proliferation, apoptosis and cell cycle arrest assay were detected by WST assay, crystal violet staining assay, Flow cytometry, RT-PCR and western blot analysis.


These results showed that as the concentration of DAA increased, the proliferation inhibitory effect appeared in gastric cancer cells. In addition, DAA induced sub-G1 phase accumulation and G1 cell cycle arrest, and subsequently induced apoptosis in AGS and YCC-2 cells. In addition, the expression of the pro-apoptotic Bax was upregulated, and that of the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 was downregulated in DAA-treated AGS and YCC-2 cells. Moreover, DAA induced the cleavage of caspase-3 and PARP.


These results suggest that DAA induces cell death through mitochondria-mediated apoptosis and G1 cell cycle arrest. Therefore, our results indicate the anticancer and therapeutic potential of DAA for treatment of human gastric cancer.

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This study was supported by the Chosun University in 2020.

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Conception, design and funding: SJK; isolation, identification, experiments: WJK and HGK; writing the manuscript: WJK and SJK; reviewed the manuscript: all the authors.

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Correspondence to Seok-Jun Kim.

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Kim, WJ., Kang, HG. & Kim, SJ. Dehydroabietic acid inhibits the gastric cancer cell growth via induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Mol. Cell. Toxicol. (2021).

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  • Dehydroabietic acid
  • Gastric cancer
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell cycle arrest
  • 5-Fluorouracil