Quercetin induces apoptosis and enhances 5-FU therapeutic efficacy in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2015 Dec 1. Epub 2015 Dec 1. PMID: 26628295
Quercetin (Q), a flavonoid compound, which is obtained in variety of fruits, seeds, and vegetables, has been reported to possess many pharmacological properties including cancer-preventive and anticancer effects. However, studies on the anticancer effects and underlying mechanisms of Q in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are still limited. The present study is conducted to investigate the anticancer efficacy and adjuvant chemotherapy action of Q in HCC. HCC cell lines HepG2 and SMCC-7721 were treated with different concentrations of Q. The antiproliferative effects of Q were measured by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), and the apoptosis and cell cycle dynamics were assessed by flow cytometry; the expression of apoptosis-associated proteins were evaluated by Western blot and immunohistochemistry staining; the tumor growth in vivo was evaluated in a xenograft mouse model. Our results showed that Q effectively inhibited human HCC cell proliferation and induced apoptosis by upregulating the expression of Bad and Bax and downregulating the expression of Bcl-2 and Survivin in vitro. Furthermore, Q obviously inhibited the tumor growth and enhanced the 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) therapeutic efficacy in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, our findings highlight that Q effectively inhibited the growth of tumor and enhanced the sensitivity to thermotherapy, indicating Q is a potential treatment option for HCC.