Basic Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2023. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastrointest Oncol. Oct 15, 2023; 15(10): 1756-1770
Published online Oct 15, 2023. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v15.i10.1756
Pomolic acid and its glucopyranose ester promote apoptosis through autophagy in HT-29 colon cancer cells
Li-Yan Liu, Teng-Hua Yu, Tie-Song Liao, Peng Xu, Ying Wang, Min Shi, Bin Li
Li-Yan Liu, Tie-Song Liao, Bin Li, Workstation of Academician, Jiangxi University of Chinese Medicine, Nanchang 330004, Jiangxi Province, China
Li-Yan Liu, Department of Pharmacy, Jiangxi Cancer Hospital and Jiangxi Cancer Center, Nanchang 330029, Jiangxi Province, China
Teng-Hua Yu, Department of Breast Surgery, Jiangxi Cancer Hospital and Jiangxi Cancer Center, Nanchang 330029, Jiangxi Province, China
Peng Xu, Min Shi, Laboratory Animal Science and Technology Center, Jiangxi University of Chinese Medicine, Nanchang 330004, Jiangxi Province, China
Ying Wang, Department of Pharmacy, Shangrao Health School, Shangrao 334000, Jiangxi Province, China
Author contributions: Liu LY, Liao TS, Wang Y, and Yu TH were responsible for the design, data collection, data management, and statistical analysis; Liu LY, Yu TH, and Shi M contributed to the writing of the manuscript; Xu P and Li B contributed to supervising data collection, improved the manuscript, and were responsible for supervision or mentorship; Liu LY and Li B were responsible for the research idea and interpretation of the results; All authors reviewed and approved the final version of the manuscript.
Supported by Central Level Major Increase and Decrease Expenditures Project, No. 2060302-2101-11, No. 2060302-1701-01; Workstation Project, No. YSGZZ201801; Open Fund for Scientific Research of Jiangxi Cancer Hospital, No. 2021J16; Distinguished Young Scholars Fund of Jiangxi Cancer Hospital, No. 2021DYS04; Jiangxi Provincial Natural Science Foundation, No. 20212BAB216063; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 82160565.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Data sharing statement: No additional data are available.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Bin Li, PhD, Professor, Workstation of Academician, Jiangxi University of Chinese Medicine, No. 1688 Meiling Road, Nanchang 330004, Jiangxi Province, China.
Received: May 21, 2023
Peer-review started: May 21, 2023
First decision: June 1, 2023
Revised: July 5, 2023
Accepted: August 31, 2023
Article in press: August 31, 2023
Published online: October 15, 2023

Colon cancer remains a leading cause of death globally. Pomolic acid (PA) can be separated from the ethyl acetate fraction of achyrocline satureioides.


To determine the effects of PA and its glucopyranose ester, pomolic acid-28-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (PAO), on colon cancer HT-29 cells.


3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay was used to measure cell viability. Apoptosis was detected via hoechst 33342 staining. PI single staining was identified by flow cytometry to determine the cycle and scratch assay was used to observe the migration of HT-29 cells. The levels of mRNA and proteins were evaluated by q polymerase chain reaction and western blotting, respectively.


PA and PAO considerably inhibited the growth of the HT-29 cell line in a time and dose-dependent manner. After the administration of PA and PAO for 24 and 48 h, cell apoptosis was significantly promoted and HT-29 cells were arrested in the G0/G1 stage. The Bax/Bcl2 ratio was also increased, which activated cysteinyl aspartate specific proteinase 3, leading to apoptosis; it also increased the expression of light chain 3 II/I and Beclin1, which activated autophagy and caused cell death. This in turn increased the expression of p62 to promote cell apoptosis, inhibiting the levels of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and p-STAT3, suppressing the level of Bcl2, and promoting cell.


Both PA and PAO provide novel therapeutic strategies for treating colorectal cancer.

Keywords: Colon cancer, Achyrocline satureioides, Pomolic acid, Pomolic acid-28-O-β-D-glucopyranose

Core Tip: Compounds pomolic acid (PA) and pomolic acid-28-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (PAO) exhibited a considerable growth inhibitory effect against HT-29 cell lines in a time-dose-dependent manner. PA and PAO promote apoptosis through autophagy in HT-29 colon tumor cells. Both PA and PAO provide novel therapeutic strategy for colorectal cancers treatment.