Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(4):1015-1023. doi:10.7150/ijms.48219 This issue

Research Paper

Anti-tumor effect of Huaier extract against neuroblastoma cells in vitro

Dong-qing Xu1,2, Xiao-jun Yuan1, Hidemi Toyoda2✉, Masahiro Hirayama2

1. Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Xin Hua Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200092, China
2. Department of Pediatrics, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-174, Edobashi, Tsu, Mie, Japan

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Xu Dq, Yuan Xj, Toyoda H, Hirayama M. Anti-tumor effect of Huaier extract against neuroblastoma cells in vitro. Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(4):1015-1023. doi:10.7150/ijms.48219. Available from

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Huaier extract, the main active constituent proteoglycan, has anti-tumor activity in various experimental and clinical settings. However, the potential anti-neuroblastoma and associated mechanisms have not been investigated. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to elucidate the potential role of Huaier extract in 3 human neuroblastoma cell lines. Our study demonstrated that incubation with Huaier extract resulted in a marked decrease in cell viability in a dose-dependent manner. Huaier extract induced cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase in neuroblastoma and decreased the cell cycle related protein expression of cyclin D3. Western blotting analysis also showed that Huaier extract induced neuroblastoma cell apoptosis and autophagy. Signaling analysis indicated that Huaier extract suppressed the MEK/ERK and mTOR signaling pathways simultaneously. In conclusion, we verify that Huaier extract causes cell proliferation inhibition, apoptosis, autophagy, and cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 phase via MEK/ERK and mTOR signaling. Huaier extract may act as a complementary agent for treating neuroblastoma.

Keywords: Neuroblastoma, MEK/ERK, mTOR, Huaier Extract, Apoptosis