Berberin, a naturally occurring isoquinoline alkaloid, is present in a number of important medicinal plants. berberin has a wide range of biochemical and pharmacological effects. chromatin-related proteins have emerged as important players in the initiation and maintenance of several types of cancer. linker histone h1 associates with nucleosomes, facilitating folding and packaging of nucleosome into higher order structure. although the effect of berberin on chromatin has be elucidated but its effect on histone h1 is still obscure.
Therefore in this study the effect of berberin on histone h1 in a549 cells was investigated using mtt, sds-paga and western-blot assay.
The result from mtt assay showed that berberin decreased cell survival of non-small lung cancer cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner, with ic50 value of 160 µm. staining of drug treated cells and the control by acridine orange/ethidium bromide revealed occurrence of apoptosis. the content of histone h1 was decreased as drug concentration increased and western-blot agent histone h1.1 confirmed the result.
. in conclusion, it is suggested that berberin has a toxic effect on a549 cells and possibly berberin binds to histone h1 leading compaction of chromatin structure thereby preceding the cells into apoptosis.