Genistein synergizes with arsenic trioxide to suppress human hepatocellular carcinoma. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Genistein synergizes with arsenic trioxide to suppress human hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cancer Sci. 2010 Apr ;101(4):975-83. Epub 2009 Dec 9. PMID: 20219070
Department of General Surgery, The Hepatosplenic Surgery Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China. firstname.lastname@example.org
Arsenic trioxide (ATO) is of limited therapeutic benefit for the treatment of solid tumors. Genistein exhibits anticancer and pro-oxidant activities, making it a potential candidate to enhance the efficacy of ATO whose cytotoxicity is oxidation-sensitive. This study sought to determine whether genistein synergizes with ATO to combat hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Three human HCC cell lines, namely HepG2, Hep3B, and SK-Hep-1, were incubated with ATO, genistein, or ATO + genistein. The cells were also pretreated with antioxidant agents N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) or butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA). Cell viability, apoptosis, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential (DeltaPsim), expression of Bcl-2, Bax, caspase-9, and -3, and release of cytochrome c into the cytosol were examined. The synergistic effect of ATO and genistein was also assessed using HepG2 xenografts subcutaneously established in BALB/c nude mice. The results show that genistein synergized with ATO to reduce viability, induce apoptosis, and diminish the DeltaPsim of cells. The combination therapy down-regulated Bcl-2 expression, up-regulated Bax expression, enhanced the activation of caspase-9 and -3, and increased the release of cytochrome c. The synergistic effect of ATO and genistein was diminished by pretreatment with NAC or BHA. Genistein increased the production of intracellular ROS, while ATO had little effect. Genistein synergized with a low dose of ATO (2.5 mg/kg) to significantly inhibit the growth of HepG2 tumors, and suppress cell proliferation and induce apoptosis in situ. There were no obvious side effects, as seen with a high dose of ATO (5 mg/kg). Combining genistein with ATO warrants investigation as a therapeutic strategy to combat HCC.