A Licorice Roots Extract Induces Apoptosis and Cell Cycle Arrest and Improves Metabolism via Regulating MiRNAs in Liver Cancer Cells.
Nutr Cancer. 2020 Jun 24:1-12. Epub 2020 Jun 24. PMID: 32578448
Abdel-Hady A Abdel-Wahab
Targeting altered metabolism in cancer provides a promising preventive and therapeutic approach. Natural products interplay between gene expression and metabolism either by targeting altered metabolic enzymes and/or affecting the regulating miRNAs. Licorice is a widely known product used as flavoring agent. Glycyrrhizin and other metabolites were reported to exert several metabolic benefits. Here, we investigated the effect of licorice roots extract on some metabolic pathways and their regulating miRNAs in hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Our data showed various beneficial effects of licorice roots extract including induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Second, upregulating tumor suppressor miRNAs; let7a-3p, miR-34c-5p, miR-122-5p, miR-126-3p, miR195-5p, miR-199a-5p, miR-206, and miR-326-5p. Third, inhibiting HIF1α, PI3K and C-Myc and activating AMPK and p53. Fourth, inhibiting enzymes of glycolysis; HK-2, LDH-A and PK-M2; pentose phosphate pathway; G6PD and glutaminolysis; glutaminase. However, such an extract upregulated oncogenic miRNAs; miR-21, miR-221, and miR-222. Although the present data highlightsthe ability of licorice roots extract to enhance apoptosis and cell cycle arrest and correct altered metabolism, it warns against its unfavorable effects, hence, its use for prevention and therapy should proceed with caution. Further experiments are required to investigate whether a specific bioactive ingredient is responsible for upregulating the oncogenic miRNAs.