Modulation of breast cancer cell survival by aromatase inhibiting hop (Humulus lupulus L.) flavonoids.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2007 Jun-Jul;105(1-5):124-30. Epub 2007 Jul 23. PMID: 17643984
Hop flavonoids are being regarded as attractive molecules to prevent or treat certain forms of cancer. Studies have focused mainly on xanthohumol, the most abundant prenylated chalcone existing in hops extract. However, during the production of beer, or after its ingestion, xanthohumol originates different metabolites, among which isoxanthohumol and 8-prenylnaringenin. The aim of this work was to study the effect of the prenylflavonoids xanthohumol, isoxanthohumol and 8-prenylnaringenin on the breast cancer Sk-Br-3 cell line proliferation, apoptosis and activity of the enzyme aromatase (estrogen synthase). Aromatase activity was determined by a tritiated water assay, cell proliferation was assessed by [(3)H]thymidine incorporation, sulforhodamine B protein measurement and Ki-67 immunostaining and apoptosis was determined by TUNEL. Our results show that all tested prenylflavonoids were able to inhibit aromatase activity and thus, estrogen formation. Additionally, breast cancer cell line proliferation was decreased and apoptosis induced by all three compounds. The presence of 17beta-estradiol in treatment medium was able to revert the effect of the prenylflavonoids on cellular proliferation. These observations strengthen the idea that hop flavonoids may have anti-breast cancer effects and shed new light on a possible mechanism of action by which these effects occur, namely through their ability to decrease estrogen synthesis.