Chrysin enhances doxorubicin-induced cytotoxicity in human lung epithelial cancer cell lines: The role of glutathione

Pediatrics, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado, USA.
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology (Impact Factor: 3.71). 08/2011; 258(1):1-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.taap.2011.08.004
Source: PubMed


We hypothesized that flavonoid-induced glutathione (GSH) efflux through multi-drug resistance proteins (MRPs) and subsequent intracellular GSH depletion is a viable mechanism to sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapies. This concept was demonstrated using chrysin (5-25 μM) induced GSH efflux in human non-small cell lung cancer lines exposed to the chemotherapeutic agent, doxorubicin (DOX). Treatment with chrysin resulted in significant and sustained intracellular GSH depletion and the GSH enzyme network in the four cancer cell types was predictive of the severity of chrysin induced intracellular GSH depletion. Gene expression data indicated a positive correlation between basal MRP1, MRP3 and MRP5 expression and total GSH efflux before and after chrysin exposure. Co-treating the cells for 72 h with chrysin (5-30 μM) and DOX (0.025-3.0 μM) significantly enhanced the sensitivity of the cells to DOX as compared to 72-hour DOX alone treatment in all four cell lines. The maximum decrease in the IC(50) values of cells treated with DOX alone compared to co-treatment with chrysin and DOX was 43% in A549 cells, 47% in H157 and H1975 cells and 78% in H460 cells. Chrysin worked synergistically with DOX to induce cancer cell death. This approach could allow for use of lower concentrations and/or sensitize cancer cells to drugs that are typically resistant to therapy.

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