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Open Access

Erk is involved in the differentiation induced by diallyl disulfide in the human gastric cancer cell line MGC803

  • Hui Ling1,
  • Liang-Yun Zhang1,
  • Qi Su1Email author,
  • Ying Song1,
  • Zhao-Yang Luo1,
  • Xiu Tian Zhou1,
  • Xi Zeng1,
  • Jie He1,
  • Hui Tan1 and
  • Jing-Ping Yuan1
Cellular & Molecular Biology LettersAn International Journal11:34

Received: 23 January 2006

Accepted: 2 June 2006


Diallyl disulfide (DADS) is a major constituent of garlic. Previously, we found that DADS both inhibited proliferation in human gastric cancer cells in vitro and in vivo, and induced G2/M arrest. In this study, we investigated whether this differentiation effect was induced by DADS in human gastric cancer MGC803 cells, and whether it was related to an alteration in ERK activity. The results showed that the growth of MGC803 cells was inhibited by DADS. Cells treated with DADS displayed a lower nucleocytoplasmic ratio and tended to form gland and intercellular conjunction structures. The ConA-mediated cell agglutination ratio and cells’ ALP specific activity decreased. In MGC803 cells, dye transfer was limited to a few cells neighbouring the dye-injected cell and to a depth of 1–2 layers beneath the scrape site. However, after treatment with DADS, the LY (Lucifer Yellow) was transferred to several cells immediately neighbouring the microinjected cell and to a depth of 2–4 cell layers from the scrape site. This indicated that DADS induced differentiation in MGC803 cells. Western blot analysis revealed that although DADS did not influence the quantity of ERK1/2 protein expressed, it did decrease its phosphorylation in a concentration-dependent manner, compared with the controls. At 30 mg·L−1, DADS inhibited the activation of ERK1/2 in 15–30 min. These results suggested that the DADS-induced differentiation of MGC803 cells involved an alteration of the ERK1/2 signaling pathway.

Key words

Diallyl disulfideStomach neoplasmDifferentiationERK