Int J Med Sci 2017; 14(10):1031-1039. doi:10.7150/ijms.19682 This issue

Research Paper

Verteporfin Inhibits Cell Proliferation and Induces Apoptosis in Human Leukemia NB4 Cells without Light Activation

Min Chen1, 2, Liang Zhong2, Shi-Fei Yao1, 2, Yi Zhao1, 2, Lu Liu2, Lian-Wen Li1, 2, Ting Xu1, 2, Liu-Gen Gan1, 2, Chun-Lan Xiao1, 2, Zhi-Ling Shan2, Bei-Zhong Liu1, 2✉

1. Central Laboratory of Yong-chuan Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 402160, China;
2. Key Laboratory of Laboratory Medical Diagnostics, Ministry of Education, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400016, China.

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Chen M, Zhong L, Yao SF, Zhao Y, Liu L, Li LW, Xu T, Gan LG, Xiao CL, Shan ZL, Liu BZ. Verteporfin Inhibits Cell Proliferation and Induces Apoptosis in Human Leukemia NB4 Cells without Light Activation. Int J Med Sci 2017; 14(10):1031-1039. doi:10.7150/ijms.19682. Available from

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Background and Aims: Verteporfin (VP), clinically used in photodynamic therapy for neovascular macular degeneration, has recently been proven a suppressor of yes-associated protein (YAP) and has shown potential in anticancer treatment. However, its anti-human leukemia effects in NB4 cells remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of VP on proliferation and apoptosis in human leukemia NB4 cells.

Methods: NB4 cells were treated with VP for 24 h. The effects of VP on cell proliferation were determined using a Cell-Counting Kit-8 assay (CCK-8) assay and colony forming assay. Apoptosis and cell cycle were evaluated by flow cytometry (FCM). The protein levels were detected by western blot.

Results: We found that VP inhibited the proliferation of NB4 cells in a concentration and time-dependent manner. FCM analysis showed that VP induced apoptosis in a concentration dependent manner and that VP treatment led to cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase. Moreover, VP significantly decreased the protein expression of YAP, p-YAP, Survivin, c-Myc, cyclinD1, p-ERK, and p-AKT. In addition, VP increased the protein expression of cleaved caspase3, cleaved PARP, Bax, and p-p38 MAPK.

Conclusions: VP inhibited the proliferation and induced apoptosis in NB4 cells.

Keywords: Verteporfin, NB4 cells, YAP, proliferation, apoptosis.