The plant alkaloid cryptolepine induces p21WAF1/CIP1 and cell cycle arrest in a human osteosarcoma cell line.


We previously established a bioassay method to screen for compounds that activate the promoter activity of p21(WAF1/CIP1), a potent inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases, in a p53-independent manner. As an activator of p21(WAF1/CIP1) promoter activity, we isolated cryptolepine (CLP: 5-methyl indolo (2,3b)-quiniine), an indoloquinoline alkaloid, from the traditional Ayurvedic medicinal plant Sida cordifolia. We show here that CLP induces the expression of p21(WAF1/CIP1) with growth arrest in p53-mutated human osteosarcoma MG63 cells. Four micromolar of CLP completely inhibited the growth of MG63 cells and caused G2/M-phase arrest. CLP up-regulated the expression of p21(WAF1/CIP1) at both mRNA and protein levels in a dose-dependent manner. Using several mutant p21(WAF1/CIP1) promoter constructs, we found that the CLP-responsive element is an Sp1 site at -82 relative to the transcription start site of the p21(WAF1/CIP1) promoter. These findings suggest that CLP arrests the growth of MG63 cells by activating the p21(WAF1/CIP1) promoter through the specific Sp1 site in a p53-independent manner. In addition, CLP-mediated cell cycle arrest was reduced by the knockout of the p21(WAF1/CIP1) gene in human colon cancer HCT116 cells, suggesting that the cell cycle arrest by CLP was at least partially mediated through the induction of p21(WAF1/CIP1) expression. Although we need further study of chemotherapeutic effect in vivo, these results raise the possibility that CLP might be a suitable chemotherapeutic agent for treatment of osteosarcoma.

7 Figures and Tables

Citations per Year

192 Citations

Semantic Scholar estimates that this publication has 192 citations based on the available data.

See our FAQ for additional information.

Cite this paper

@article{Matsui2007ThePA, title={The plant alkaloid cryptolepine induces p21WAF1/CIP1 and cell cycle arrest in a human osteosarcoma cell line.}, author={Taka-aki Matsui and Yoshihiro Sowa and Hiroaki Murata and Koichi Takagi and Ryoko Nakanishi and Shunji Aoki and Masayuki Yoshikawa and Motomasa Kobayashi and Tomoya Sakabe and Toshikazu Kubo and Toshiyuki Sakai}, journal={International journal of oncology}, year={2007}, volume={31 4}, pages={915-22} }