Flavonoid-Enriched Apple Fraction AF4 Induces Cell Cycle Arrest, DNA Topoisomerase II Inhibition, and Apoptosis in Human Liver Cancer HepG2 Cells.
Nutr Cancer. 2014 Sep 25:1-10. Epub 2014 Sep 25. PMID: 25256427
Apples are a major source of dietary phytochemicals such as flavonoids in the Western diet. Here we report anticancer properties and possible mechanism of action of apple flavonoid-enriched fraction (AF4) isolated from the peels of Northern Spy apples in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells, HepG2. Treatment with AF4 induced cell growth inhibition in HepG2 cells in time- and dose-dependent manner. Concentration of 50 μg/ml (50 μg total monomeric polyphenols/ml) AF4 was sufficient to induce a significant reduction in cell viability within 6 h of treatment (92%, P<0.05) but had very low toxicity (minimum 4% to maximum 16%) on primary liver and lung cells, which was significantly lower than currently prescribed chemotherapy drug Sorafenib (minimum 29% to maximum 49%, P<0.05). AF4 induced apoptosis in HepG2 cells within 6 h of treatment via activation of caspase-3. Cell cycle analysis via flow-cytometer showed that AF4 induced G2/M phase arrest. Further, results showed that AF4 acts as a strong DNA topoisomerase II catalytic inhibitor, which may be a plausible reason to drive the cells to apoptosis. Overall, our data suggests that AF4 possesses a significantly stronger antiproliferative and specific action than Sorafenib in vitro and is a potential natural chemotherapy agent for treatment of liver cancer.