Pro-apoptotic and anti-proliferative effects of corn silk extract on human colon cancer cell lines

Guo, H.; Guan, H.; Yang, W.; Liu, H.; Hou, H.; Chen, X.; Liu, Z.; Zang, C.; Liu, Y.; Liu, J.

Oncology Letters 13(2): 973-978


ISSN/ISBN: 1792-1074
PMID: 28356987
DOI: 10.3892/ol.2016.5460
Accession: 060134624

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Corn silk is an economically and nutritionally significant natural product as it represents a staple food for a large proportion of the world population. This study investigated the anticancer activity of corn silk extract in human colon cancer cells and human gastric cancer cells. Following treatment with corn silk extract, certain apoptosis-related events were observed, including inhibition of cell proliferation, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), release of Ca2+ and release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria into the cytosol. Our results revealed that corn silk extract inhibited the proliferation of cancer cells and increased the level of apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. Western blot analysis revealed that corn silk extract upregulated the levels of Bax, cytochrome c, caspase-3 and caspase-9, but downregulated the levels of B-cell lymphoma 2. These results suggest that corn silk extract may induce apoptosis through the mitochondria-mediated pathway.