Potentiation of luteolin cytotoxicity by flavonols fisetin and quercetin in human chronic lymphocytic leukemia cell lines.
Food Funct. 2016 Aug 4. Epub 2016 Aug 4. PMID: 27489195
Despite numerous studies chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) still remains an incurable disease. Therefore, all new compounds and novel strategies which are able to eradicate CLL cells should be considered as valuable clues for a potential future remedy against this malignancy. In the present study, the cytotoxic profiles of natural flavonoids were described in two human CLL cell lines, HG-3 and EHEB, indicating the flavone luteolin as the most potent flavonoid with half-maximal inhibitory constants (IC50) of 37μM and 26 μM, respectively. Luteolin significantly increased the apoptotic cell population in both cell lines by increasing the activities of caspases-3 and -9 and triggering the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. Two flavonols, fisetin and quercetin, were somewhat less efficient in suppressing cellularviability, whereas baicalein, chrysin, (+)-catechin and hesperetin exerted only a small or no response at doses as high as 100 μM. Both fisetin and quercetin were able to augment the cytotoxic activity of luteolin in both cell lines by reducing the IC50 values up to four fold. As a result of this,luteolin displayed cytotoxicity activity already at low micromolar concentrations that could potentially be physiologically achievable through oral ingestion. No other tested flavonoids were capable of sensitizing CLL cells to luteolin pointing to a specific binding of fisetin and quercetin to thecellular targets which interfere with the signaling pathways induced by luteolin. Although further molecular studies to unravel this potentiating mechanism are certainly needed, this phenomenon could contribute to future remedies for prevention and treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.