Indole-3-carbinol induces G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis through aryl hydrocarbon receptor in THP-1 monocytic cell line.
J Recept Signal Transduct Res. 2017 Oct ;37(5):506-514. PMID: 28812970
OBJECTIVES: The role of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in carcinogenesis has been studied recently. Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is an AhR agonist and a potential anticancer agent. Here, we investigated the effects of I3C on cell cycle progression and apoptosis through activation of AhR on THP-1 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cell line.
METHODS: MTT viability assay was used to measure the cytotoxic effects of I3C on THP-1 cells. Apoptosis and cell cycle assays were investigated using flow cytometry. Real time RT-PCR was conducted to measure the alterations in the expression of AhR gene, key genes associated with AhR activation (IL1β and CYP1A1) and major genes involved in cell cycle regulation and apoptosis including P27, P21, CDK2, P53, BCL2 and FasR.
RESULTS: Our findings revealed that I3C inhibits the proliferation of THP-1 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner with minimal toxicity over normal monocytes. The AhR target genes (CYP1A1, IL1β) were overexpressed upon I3C treatment (p < .05 to p < .001). The antiproliferative effects of I3C were in association with programed cell death. I3C downregulated BCL2 and upregulated FasR in THP-1 cells (p < .05 to p < .001). G1 cell cycle arrest was also observed using flow cytometry. G1-acting cell cycle genes (P21, P27 and P53) were overexpressed (p < .05 to p < .001), while CDK2 was downregulated upon I3C treatment (p < .01 to p < .001).
CONCLUSIONS: I3C could exert its antileukemic effects through AhR activation which is associated with programed cell death and G1 cell cycle arrest in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Therefore, AhR could be targeted as a novel treatment possibility in AML.