Induction of sestrin 2 is associated with fisetin-mediated apoptosis in human head and neck cancer cell lines.
J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2019 Mar ;64(2):97-105. Epub 2018 Oct 13. PMID: 30936621
Fisetin was reported to have an anti-proliferative and apoptotic activity as a novel anti-cancer agent in various cancer cell lines. However, the possible molecular targets for the anti-cancer effect of fisetin in human head and neck cancer (HNCC) have not yet been clarified. In this study, the influence of fisetin on the growth and apoptosis of HNCCs were examined. In HSC3 cells, fisetin treatment reduced the viability and induced apoptosis. Through the results from the screening of the expression profile of apoptosis-related genes, sestrin 2 (SESN2) was functionally involved in fisetin-mediated apoptosis showing the knockdown of SESN2 by siRNA clearly restored fisetin-induced apoptosis. In addition, fisetin reduced the protein expression levels of phospho-mTOR (p-mTOR) and Mcl-1, which are the downstream molecules of SESN2. It also induced PARP cleavage by inducing an increase in the expression levels of SESN2 together with reducing mTOR and Mcl-1 proteins in other three HNCCs (MC3, Ca9.22, and HN22). Taken together, our findings suggest that the anti-cancer effect of fisetin on HNCCs is associated with SESN2/mTOR/Mcl-1 signaling axis.