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Ovarian cancer is one of the major causes of death among females in worldwide. Cisplatin is a primary anti-cancer drug against ovarian cancer, but the recurrent tumors after treatment frequently show acquired chemoresistance. Extract of Scutellaria baicalensis (SbE) has been reported to have functional compounds including baicalin, which has anti-cancer effects. However, the anti-cancer effects of SbE in ovarian cancer and its underlying mechanisms are elusive. We investigated that the effects of SbE and/or cisplatin on cell death in the cisplatin sensitive ovarian cancer cell line A2780 (CSC) and the counterpart cell line that has cisplatin resistance (CRC). Molecular mechanisms of the effects, focusing on apoptosis and autophagy, were examined. Treatment of cisplatin or SbE reduced cell viability significantly in CSC and too much lesser extent in CRC. Cisplatin-induced cell death in CSC was mediated by p53-induced apoptosis acompanied by expresson of damage-regulated autophagy modulator (DRAM). In CRC, decreased DRAM expression (p < 0.01) hindered p21-mediated cell death and contributed to cisplatin resistance. Treatment of SbE also induced cell death in CSC by p53-dependent apoptosis, not in CRC. Autophagy was not induced by neither cisplatin nor SbE. Intriguingly, the combinational treatment of SbE and cisplatin significantly decreased cell viability in CRC. The cell death was mediated by autophagy with increased expression of Atg5 and Atg12 (p < 0.05), rather than p53-dependent pathway with repressed expression of p21 (p < 0.001) through HDAC1 activation. The combined treatment of SbE with cisplatin was effective in CRC, leading to cell death via Beclin1-independent autophagy, suggesting that SbE treatment in combination with cisplatin has a potential as a chemotherapeutic agent in cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer.


Bo Yoon Choi, Jong Cheon Joo, Yeon Kyu Lee, Ik-Soon Jang, Soo Jung Park, Yoon Jung Park. Anti-cancer effect of Scutellaria baicalensis in combination with cisplatin in human ovarian cancer cell. BMC complementary and alternative medicine. 2017 May 25;17(1):277

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PMID: 28545442

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