ERK activation inhibited apoptosis through enhanced cytoprotective autophagy in AS-treated SW620 cells. (A) Cells were treated with AS (200 μg/mL) for 0–24 h and immunoblotting was performed to measure the levels of p(Thr202/Tyr204)-ERK1/2 and ERK1/2. Cells were pretreated with or without ERK inhibitor (PD98059, 10 μM) for 1 h, followed by 200 μg/mL AS treatment for 24 h. (B) The expressions of LC3-I/II and (C) caspase-3 were assessed by Western blotting. Relative changes in the expression of protein bands were measured by commercially available quantitative software with the control representing as 1-fold. (D) Cell viability was measured by the MTT assay. Earlier the cells were treated with or without ERK inhibitor (PD98059, 10 μM) for 1 h, and then followed by AS (100, 150, and 200 μg/mL) treatment for 24 h. Results are expressed as the mean ± SD of three independent assays. #p < 0.05 is significant when compared with AS-treated cells.