The present study investigated the effect of ferulic acid, a compound purified from traditional Chinese herbal medicine Chuanxiong and Awei, on anion secretion by human colonic cells (T84) using the short circuit current (I(SC)) and microspectrofluorimetric technique. Basolateral administration of sodium ferulate (SF) produced a concentration-dependent increase of I(SC) in T84 cells with an EC50 of 1.2 mM. The SF-induced increase in I(SC) contained a transient peak followed by a sustained plateau.
Tanshen has long been widely used as a traditional Chinese medicine. Tanshinone IIA (Tan IIA) is the most abundant lipophilic constituent of Tanshen which has antitumor activity but the mechanism is poorly understood. Some preliminary reports hypothesized that it is a DNA intercalator and that the furano-o-quinone moiety could produce free radicals responsible for its cytotoxicity. Here the interaction of Tan IIA with DNA was explored in detail using fluorescence, viscosimetry, and molecular modeling.