Licochalcone C induces cell cycle G1 arrest and apoptosis in human esophageal squamous carcinoma cells by activation of the ROS/MAPK signaling pathway.
J Chemother. 2020 Feb 3:1-12. Epub 2020 Feb 3. PMID: 32009586
Along with changes in dietary habits and lifestyle, the incidence of esophageal cancer is increasing around the world. Since chemotherapy for esophageal cancer has significant side effects, phytochemicals have attracted attention as an alternative medicine. Licochalcone C (LCC) is a flavonoid compound extracted from Licorice, with a variety of clinical uses including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. Treatment with LCC for 48 h significantly decreased cell viability of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner with ICvalues of 28 µM (KYSE 30), 36 µM (KYSE 70), 19 µM (KYSE 410), 28 µM (KYSE 450) and 26 µM (KYSE 510). LCC induced G1 arrest accompanied by decreased cyclin D1 expression and an increase in the levels of p21 and p27. LCC increased the levels of intracellular ROS, cytochrome C release, and multi-caspase activity, and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential. LCC induced the protein expression of ER stress markers (GRP78 and CHOP) and phosphorylation JNK, c-Jun and p38. We investigated the expression of pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic proteins to elucidate the mechanism of apoptosis. Our findings contribute to the understanding of apoptosis mechanism underlying LCC in ESCC cells and provide new insights into the potential clinical opportunities of LCC for ESCC treatment.