Haishengsu (Hss) is a purified protein from Tegillarca granosa that has been used as a traditional Chinese medicine to treat cancer for more than a century. In this study, we observed the impact of Haishengsu (Hss) on the proliferation and differentiation of HL-60 cells in the leukemic cell line by taking tretinoin and AS2O3 as a positive control and making a comparative analysis between the effect of Hss and tretinoin and AS2O3. We found that Hss could significantly inhibit the proliferation of HL-60 cells and caused most of the cells to stay in the G0/G1 phase. Its effect was much stronger than that of tretinoin and AS2O3, and the ability of Hss to induce differentiation was close to tretinoin. Hss functions probably by inhibiting the expression of the Bcl-2 and MPO genes and further promoting the expression of the Bax gene. Hss has a significant effect on both inhibiting the proliferation and inducing the differentiation of HL-60 cells. It is possible that Hss may be a new kind of clinical differentiation inducer.
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