THE CYTOTOXIC EFFECTS OF CROCIN ON H1650 LUNG CANCER CELLS
Erika Ramos, Meghan Cromie, Weimin Gao.
Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX.
Lung cancer is the primary cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women in the U.S. More individuals die of lung cancer than colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. Patients diagnosed with lung cancer often experience a variety of side effects during conventional treatment and eventually may develop resistance. Therefore, alternative therapeutics with fewer or no side effects are needed. Crocin, natural carotenoid compound found in crocus and gardenia flowers, has exhibited therapeutic potential in cancer cell lines based with limited data. The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of crocin on H1650 lung cancer cells using MTT assay, quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR), and western blot to evaluate cytotoxicity, gene expression, and protein expression, respectively. A dose-dependent increase in cytotoxicity was observed after H1650 cells were treated with crocin, with an observed IC50 of 23 mg/mL for 24 h and 18 mg/mL for 48 h. No changes in the gene expressions of EGFR or survivin were observed. However, p21 demonstrated a 2.5-fold upregulation after 48 h treatment with 16 mg/mL crocin, which was further confirmed by western blot. P21 is a well-known inhibitor of cell proliferation through cell cycle arrest. Thus, the significant upregulation of p21 suggests that crocin could inhibit lung cancer cell growth. The findings of this study warrant further examination into the usefulness of crocin for lung cancer treatment and its molecular mechanisms.