Phloretin induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of human glioblastoma cells through the generation of reactive oxygen species.
J Neurooncol. 2016 Jun ;128(2):217-23. Epub 2016 Mar 16. PMID: 26983952
Phloretin, a flavonoid present in various plants, has been reported to exert anticarcinogenic effects. However, the mechanism of its chemo-preventive effect on human glioblastoma cells is not fully understood. This study aimed to investigate the molecular mechanism of phloretin and its associated chemo-preventive effect in human glioblastoma cells. The results indicate that phloretin inhibited cell proliferation by inducing cell cycle arrest at the G0-G1 phase and induced apoptosis of human glioblastoma cells. Phloretin-induced cell cycle arrest was associated with increased expression of p27 and decreased expression of cdk2, cdk4, cdk6, cyclinD and cyclinE. Moreover, the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling cascades were suppressed by phloretin in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, phloretin triggered the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway and generated reactive oxygen species (ROS). This was accompanied by the up-regulation of Bax, Bak and c-PARP and the down-regulation of Bcl-2. The antioxidant agents N-acetyl-L-cysteine and glutathione weakened the effect of phloretin on glioblastoma cells. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that phloretin exerts potent chemo-preventive activity in human glioblastoma cells through the generation of ROS.