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Djulis (Chenopodium formosanum Koidz.) Husk Ethanol Extract Induces Cell Apoptosis in Human Liver Cancer Cells


Those receiving treatment for advanced liver cancer exhibit poor overall survival of only 6-10 months, and thus, developing more effective novel agents for treatment remains a priority. In this study, we investigated the effects and inhibitive mechanisms of djulis (Cheno-podium formosanum Koidz.) husk ethanol extract (DEE), which contains polyphenols and flavonoids, on malignant liver cancer cells. The results indicated that DEE decreased the cell viability of liver cancer Mahlavu and SK-Hep-1 cells in a dose-dependent manner (from 150 to 2400 μg/mL). Cell cycle analysis also revealed an increased sub-G1 cell count in liver cancer cells. These findings indicate that DEE-induced cell death may be mediated by proteins that regulate the cell cycle and apoptosis in liver cancer cells. Further experimentation revealed that DEE treatment resulted in a dose-dependent change in the expression of cleaved caspase-3 and cyclin-dependent kinase 4. Therefore, the inhibition of cell viability by DEE may correlate with the alteration of proteins related to the cell cycle and apoptosis.