Flavonoids have been shown to be cytotoxic to cancer cells. However, the mechanism of cytotoxicity has not been clearly defined. It has previously been reported that HER2/ERBB2, the estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and p53 were required for flavonoid induced cytotoxicity in breast cancer cell lines. We have used a panel of breast cancer cell lines, known to contain as well as be deficient in these signaling pathways, to screen fourteen different flavonoids. Comparing the cytotoxicity for all flavonoids allows us to determine if a structure-functional relationship exists between cytotoxicity and flavonoid, and if a particular signaling pathway is required for cytotoxicity. We show that several flavonoids are cytotoxic to all cell lines including primary mammary epithelial cells tested. The cytotoxic flavonoids are also able to inhibit Mitochondrial Outer Membrane Permeability while at the same time stimulate ATP levels whereas the non-cytotoxic flavonoids are not able to do this. We also show that both cytotoxic and non-cytotoxic flavonoids can transverse the cell membrane to enter MDA-MB-231 cells at different levels. Finally, all flavonoids regardless of their cytotoxicity were able to induce some form of cell cycle arrest. We conclude that for flavonoids to be strongly cytotoxic, they must possess the 2,3-double bond in the C-ring and we believe the cytotoxicity occurs through mitochondrial poisoning in both cancer and normal cells.
"Thus, these different classes of phytochemicals, by different mechanisms, are known to combat breast cancer. But several phytochemicals have been shown to have biphasic effect on cell survival, that is, they can aid inhibition as well as proliferation of breast cancer cells, depending on the concentration . A major caveat for the effective action of phytochemicals is their bioavailability and distribution to tissues and organs which varies according to their category and might depend on molecular size, polarity, and solubility . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Quercetin is a member of the flavonoid family and has been previously shown to have a variety of anti-cancer activities. We and others have reported anti-proliferation, cell cycle arrest, and induction of apoptosis of cancer cells after treatment with quercetin. Quercetin has also been shown to undergo oxidation. However, it is unclear if quercetin or one of its oxidized forms is responsible for cell death. Here we report that quercetin rapidly oxidized in cell culture media to form a dimer. The quercetin dimer is identical to a dimer that is naturally produced by onions. The quercetin dimer and quercetin-3-O-glucopyranoside are unable to cross the cell membrane and do not kill MDA-MB-231 cells. Finally, supplementing the media with ascorbic acid increases quercetin’s ability to induce cell death probably by reduction oxidative dimerization. Our results suggest that an unmodified quercetin is the compound that elicits cell death.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2012; 427(2):415–420. DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.09.080 · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer is commonly diagnosed in dogs over the age of 10 and is a leading cause of death due to the lack of effective drugs. Flavonoids possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties and have been studied as chemopreventive agents in human cancer therapy. However, the literature on dogs is sparse. In this study, we analyzed the effect of nine flavonoids on cell viability, DNA damage and topoisomerase IIa/IIb gene expression in a canine tumor cell line (DH82). Apigenin, luteolin, trans-chalcone and 4-methoxychalcone showed the highest degree of cytotoxicity in the absence of considerable DNA damage, whereas genistein exhibited low cytotoxicity but induced a high level of DNA damage. These five flavonoids inhibited topoisomerase IIa and IIb gene expression to variable extents and with variable specificity. Genistein exerted a lower inhibitory effect on the two topoisomerases than luteolin and apigenin. trans-Chalcone and 4-methoxychalcone exerted greater inhibition of topoisomerase IIa expression than topoisomerase IIb. The differences in the effects between genistein and luteolin and apigenin might be explained by the position of ring B, whereas the more specific effect of chalcones on topoisomerase IIa might be due to their open chain structure.
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