Combinational treatment of curcumin and quercetin against gastric cancer MGC-803 cells in vitro

Jian Ye Zhang, Min Ting Lin, Meng Jia Zhou, Tao YI, Yi Na Tang, Si Li Tang, Zhijun YANG, Zhongzhen ZHAO, Hubiao Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


Gastric cancer remains a major health problem worldwide. Natural products, with stronger antitumor activity and fewer side effects, are potential candidates for pharmaceutical development as anticancer agents. In this study, quercetin and curcumin were chosen for testing and were applied separately and in combination to human gastric cancer MGC-803 cells. The MTT assay was used to evaluate cell growth inhibition. Annexin V-FITC/PI was carried out to measure apoptosis rate. Flow cytometry was performed to analyze mitochondrial membrane potential levels. Western blots were applied to detect expression of cytochrome c, total and phosphorylated ERK and AKT. Combined treatment with curcumin and quercetin resulted in significant inhibition of cell proliferation, accompanied by loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (Ä∅m), release of cytochrome c and decreased phosphorylation of AKT and ERK. These results indicate that the combination of curcumin and quercetin induces apoptosis through the mitochondrial pathway. Notably, effect of combined treatment with curcumin and quercetin on gastric cancer MGC-803 cells is stronger than that of individual treatment, indicating that curcumin and quercetin combinations have potential as anti-gastric cancer drugs for further development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11524-11534
Number of pages11
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • AKT
  • Apoptosis
  • Combined effect
  • Curcumin
  • ERK
  • Quercetin


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