The apoptotic effects of the flavonoid N101-2 in human cervical cancer cells
This study evaluated the anti-cancer effects of a naringenin derivative in human cervical cancer cells. In this study, a synthesized naringenin derivative, diethyl 5,7,4'-trihydroxy flavanone N-phenyl hydrazone (N101-2), inhibited cervical cancer cell growth, whereas naringenin itself exhibited no anti-cancer activity. N101-2 treatment inhibited cancer cell viability in a dose- and time-dependent manner through cell cycle arrest at sub-G1 phase, accompanied by an increase in apoptotic cell death. Expression of cyclins and ppRB was down-regulated, whereas that of CDK inhibitors and p53 increased upon N101-2 treatment. Meanwhile, we detected processing of caspases-8, -9, and -3, cleavage of PARP, as well as Bax up-regulation, which indicates activation of mitochondria-emanated intrinsic apoptosis signaling. Treatment with caspase-8 and -3 inhibitors also recovered cell cycling, and Fas/FasL expression increased in N101-2-treated cervical cancer cells, suggesting that Fas-mediated extrinsic apoptosis signaling was also activated. The tumor suppressor PTEN and its upstream regulator PPARγ were up-regulated with coincident inhibition of PI3K and phospho-Akt after N101-2 treatment. Taken together, we could conclude that N101-2 induces apoptosis by arresting the cell cycle at sub-G1 phase, activating mitochondria-emanated intrinsic and Fas-mediated extrinsic signaling pathways, and inhibiting the PI3K/AKT pathway in CaSki and SiHa human cervical cancer cells.