J Nutr Health.  2020 Apr;53(2):111-120. 10.4163/jnh.2020.53.2.111.

Effect of corosolic acid on apoptosis and angiogenesis in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells

  • 1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Andong National University, Andong 36729, Korea


Corosolic acid (CA), also known as 2α-hydroxyursolic acid, is present in numerous plants, and is reported to exhibit anti-cancer and anti-proliferative activities in various cancer cells such as osteosarcoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, lung adenocarcinoma, and colon cancer. However, the anti-cancer activity of CA on human breast cancer cells and the underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated. The present study aimed to investigate the anticancer effects of CA in the human breast cancer cell line, MDA-MB-231.
Cell viability, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, apoptosis marker protein expression, migration, invasion rate, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels were assessed by treating MDA-MB-231 cells to increasing concentrations of CA.
The results showed that CA significantly inhibited the cell proliferation of MDA-MB-231 cells in a dose-dependent manner. To assess the effect of CA on apoptosis, nuclei of MDA-MB-231 cells were stained with DAPI solution. Chromatin condensation, which indicates apoptosis, was observed to increase dose-dependently. In addition, western-blot analysis revealed elevated levels of the apoptosis marker proteins (Bax and cleaved caspase 3) subsequent to MDA-MB-231 exposure to CA. ROS production was also increased in the CA-induced apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 treated cells. Interestingly, CA exposure resulted in significantly decreased migration and invasion rates in the MDA-MB-231 cells. Data further revealed that exposure to CA markedly decreased the VEGF concentration, thereby contributing to a reduction in angiogenesis.
Our results determined that exposure to CA induces anti-proliferation, apoptosis, and ROS production, and suppresses cell migration and invasion rate in MDA-MB-231 cells. Taken together, these results indicate the potential of CA to be applied as an effective chemotherapeutic agent for treating breast cancer.


corosolic acid; cell viability; apoptosis; reactive oxygen species; cell migration
Full Text Links
  • JNH
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2022 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr