Liquiritigenin induces mitochondria-mediated apoptosis via cytochrome c release and caspases activation in HeLa Cells.
Phytother Res. 2011 Feb ;25(2):277-83. PMID: 20658471
It has been demonstrated that many flavonoids possess a potent and broad spectrum of antitumor activity. Liquiritigenin is a flavanone extracted from Glycyrrhizae. This study investigated the effects of liquiritigenin on cell viability and apoptosis induction in human cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cells. The results show that liquiritigenin significantly suppressed cell proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent manner in HeLa cells. In addition, liquiritigenin promoted apoptosis in HeLa cells, evidenced by apoptotic morphological changes and Annexin-V binding. The apoptosis induction with liquiritigenin is associated with the up-regulation of p53 and Bax, along with down-regulation of Bcl-2 and survivin. Finally, examination of the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis revealed that cytochrome c is released from mitochondria to cytosol, associated with the activation of caspase-9 and -3, and the cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). Overall, the results indicate that liquiritigenin induces apoptosis in part via the mitochondrial pathway, which is associated with p53 up-regulation, release of cytochrome c and elevated activity of caspase-9 and -3 in HeLa cells.