Previous studies have shown that the anomalous fruit extract of Gleditsia sinensis (GSE) exhibited apoptotic properties in various solid and non-solid tumors in vitro. However, the inhibitory actions of GSE on oncogenic expression and telomerase activity in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) have not been studied before. In the present study, the anti-cancer effects of GSE were demonstrated in three ESCC cell lines (HKESC-1, HKESC-2 and SLMT-1) by MTS and anchorage-independent clongenicity assays, expression studies on oncogenes at 11q13 (CCND1, INT2, FGF4 and EMS1) and real-time quantitative telomeric repeat amplification protocol assay to show the inhibitory effect of GSE on telomerase in ESCC. The means of MTS50of GSE for the ESCC cell lines and non-tumor NIH 3T3 cells were 21 and 163 μg/ml respectively. The anchorage-independent clongenicity assay showed that SLMT-1 cells lost their colony-forming potential which was dose-dependent to GSE. Moreover, GSE demonstrated dose-dependent suppression on the expression of INT2, EMS1 and FGF4, and inhibition of telomerase activity in the ESCC cell lines. Our overall results thus provide the first evidence that the anti-cancer effects of GSE on ESCC involve the suppression of oncogenic expression and inhibition of telomerase activity. Our findings also offer a new opportunity for the future development of GSE as a novel anti-cancer agent for ESCC and possibly for other cancers.
- Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
- Oncogenic expression