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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Cancer 1/2018

Delphinidin induced protective autophagy via mTOR pathway suppression and AMPK pathway activation in HER-2 positive breast cancer cells

BMC Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2018
Jingyao Chen, Yanfeng Zhu, Weiwei Zhang, Xiaoli Peng, Jie Zhou, Fei Li, Bin Han, Xin Liu, Yu Ou, Xiaoping Yu



We have previously demonstrated the anticancer effect of anthocyanins. In this study, we explored the biological activities of delphinidin, the most common of the anthocyanidin monomers, that were related to autophagy in HER-2 positive breast cancer MDA-MB-453 and BT474 cells.


The effects of various doses of delphinidin on the proliferation and apoptosis of MDA-MB-453 and BT474 cells were analysed. Autophagy was identified as a critical factor that influenced chemotherapy, and the autophagic mechanism in delphinidin-treated cells was investigated. The autophagy inhibitors, 3-MA and BA1, were used to analyse the effects of autophagy inhibition.


Delphinidin inhibited proliferation, promoted apoptosis, and induced autophagy in MDA-MB-453 and BT474 cells in a dose-dependent manner. The inhibition of autophagy enhanced the delphinidin-induced apoptosis and antiproliferative effect in both HER-2 positive breast cancer cells. In addition, delphinidin induced autophagy via suppression of the mTOR signalling pathway and activation of the AMPK signalling pathway in HER-2 positive breast cancer cells.


Collectively, the results showed that delphinidin induced apoptosis and autophagy in HER-2 positive breast cancer cells and that autophagy was induced via the mTOR and AMPK signalling pathways. The suppression of autophagy promoted the anticancer effects of delphinidin.
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