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Houttuynia cordata Thunb extract modulates G0/G1 arrest and Fas/CD95-mediated death receptor apoptotic cell death in human lung cancer A549 cells

In Taiwan, 26 individuals per 100,000 died from lung cancer each year, based on reports from the “People Health Bureau of Taiwan”. Surgery, radiotherapy, and chemo-therapy are used for treating lung cancer patients. However, those treatments are not satisfactory. In-duction of cell cycle arrest and/or apoptosis in lung cancer cells has been considered an influential treatment strategy. Many researchers have focused on selectively killing cancer cells or reducing cell number through the induc-tion of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.

Morphological changes in apoptotic cells include cell membrane blebbing, DNA or chromatin condensation, and caspase activation [8-10]. Previous studies have dem-onstrated that the cell membrane death receptor played an important role in apoptosis. Death receptor signaling is mediated through FasL and Fas/CD95 recep-tor protein interaction followed by activation of caspase-8. The activation of caspase-3 by caspase-8 is re-sponsible for the cleavage of cellular substrates. Cleavage of cellular substrates degrades the chromosomes into fragments during apoptosis.