AGA induces sub-G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human colon cancer cells through p53-independent/p53-dependent pathway

Bou Yue Peng, Abhinay Kumar Singh, Chun Hao Chan, Yue Hua Deng, Pin Ying Li, Chun Wei Su, Chia Yu Wu, Win Ping Deng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Despite the advancement in chemotherapeutic drugs for colon cancer treatment, it is still a life-threatening disease worldwide due to drug resistance. Therefore, an urgently needed to develop novel drugs for colon cancer therapies. AGA is a combination of traditional Chinese medicine Antler’s extract (A), Ganoderma lucidum (G), and Antrodia camphorata (A); it contains a lot of biomolecules like polysaccharides, fatty acids, and triterpenoids that are known to exerting anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-tumor activities in oral cancer. In this study, we investigate AGA anti-proliferative, anti-metastatic and apoptotic activity to explore its anti-cancer activity against colon cancer cells and its underlying mechanism. Method: Here, in-vitro studies were performed to determine the antiproliferative activity of AGA through MTT and colony formation assays. Wound healing and transwell migration assay were used to evaluate the metastasis. Flow cytometry and protein expression were used to investigate the involved molecular mechanism by evaluating the cell cycle and apoptosis. The in-vivo anti-cancerous activity of AGA was assessed by xenograft mice model of colon cancer cells. Results: We found that AGA significantly inhibited the proliferative capacity and metastasis of colon cancer cells in-vitro. In addition, AGA induced cell cycle arrest in the sub-G1 phase through upregulating p21 and downregulating CDK2, CDK6 in SW620, and CDK4 in SW480 and HT29, respectively. Annexin-v assay indicated that colon cancer cells had entered early and late apoptosis after treatment with AGA. Furthermore, a mechanistic protein expressions study revealed that AGA in p53-dependent and independent regulated the apoptosis of colon cancer by downregulating the p53 protein expression in SW620 and SW480 cells but upregulating in a dose-dependent manner in HT29 cells and increasing the expression of Bax and caspase-9 to inhibit the colon cancer cells. In vivo study, we found that AGA significantly reduced the xenograft tumor growth in NOD/SCID mice with no adverse effect on the kidney and liver. Conclusion: Collectively, AGA has the potential to inhibit colon cancer through inhibiting proliferation, migration, and cell cycle kinase by upregulating p21 protein expression and promoting the apoptotic protein in a p53-dependent and independent manner.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • AGA
  • Apoptosis
  • CDK2
  • CDK6
  • Cell cycle
  • p53-dependent/independent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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