Signal pathways involved in apigenin inhibition of growth and induction of apoptosis of human anaplastic thyroid cancer cells (ARO).
Anticancer Res. 1999 Sep-Oct;19(5B):4297-303. PMID: 10628390
Division of Endocrinology, UCLA School of Medicine 90024, USA. email@example.com
Recently we demonstrated that several flavonoids can inhibit the proliferation of certain human thyroid cancer cell lines. Among the flavonoids tested, apigenin and luteolin are the most effective inhibitors of these tumor cell lines. In the present study, we investigated the signal transduction mechanism associated with the growth inhibitory effect of apigenin, using a human anaplastic thyroid carcinoma cell line, ARO (UCLA RO-81-A-1). Using Western blot method, it was shown that the inhibitory effect of apigenin on ARO cell proliferation is associated with an inhibition of both EGFR tyrosine autophosphorylation and phosphorylation of its downstream effector mitogen activated protein (MAP) kinase. Protein levels of these signaling molecules were not affected. The inhibitor of phosphorylation by apigenin occurred within 30 min and continued for 4 h. A dose-dependent inhibition was demonstrable ranging from 12.5 microM to 50 microM. The level of phosphorylated c-Myc, a nuclear substrate for MAPK, was depressed from 16-48 h after apigenin treatment, finally leading to a programmed cell death involving DNA fragmentation. Furthermore, treatment with apigenin resulted in the inhibition of both anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent thyroid cancer cell growth. In summary, apigenin is a promising inhibitor of signal transduction pathways that regulate the growth (anchorage-dependent and independent) and survival of human anaplastic thyroid cancer cells. Apigenin may provide a new approach for the treatment of human anaplastic thyroid carcinoma for which no effective therapy is presently available.