Licochalcone A specifically induces cell death in glioma stem cells via mitochondrial dysfunction.
FEBS Open Bio. 2017 06 ;7(6):835-844. Epub 2017 May 8. PMID: 28593138
Glioblastoma multiforme is the most malignant primary intrinsic brain tumor. Glioma stem cells (GSCs) are associated with chemoradiotherapy resistance and the recurrence of glioblastomas after conventional therapy. The targeting of GSCs is potentially an effective treatment for the long-term survival of glioblastoma patients. Licochalcone A, a natural chalconoid from licorice root, exerts anticancer effects; however, its effect on GSCs remains unknown. We found that Licochalcone A induced massive caspase-dependent death in GSCs but not in differentiated GSCs nor normal somatic and neural stem cells. Prior to cell death, Licochalcone A caused mitochondrial fragmentation and reduced the membrane potential and ATP production in GSCs. Thus, Licochalcone A induces mitochondrial dysfunction and shows promise as an anticancer stem cell drug.