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Korean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 2008;51(8):874-881.
Published online August 1, 2008.
Apigenin-induced apoptosis in cervical cancer cell lines.
Eun Kyung Oh, Hyun Jung Kim, Su MI Bae, Mi Young Park, Yong Wook Kim, Tae Eung Kim, Woong Shick Ahn
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea. ahnws@catholic.ac.kr
2Cancer Research Institute, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
Apigenin is a widely distributed plant flavonoid and was proposed as a potent antitumor agent. In this study, we investigated the anticancer effects of apigenin on human cervical cancer cell lines. For this, the effects of apigenin on growth inhibition and apoptosis were examined and also mRNA expression of E6 and E7, the main causes of development of cervical cancer, was also evaluated. METHODS: To observe the anti-proliferative effects, cervical cancer cell lines, 5x103 cells/well (96 well plate) of Caski, HeLa and C33A were plated and 24 h later treated with apigenin for three days and then MTT assay was performed. For apoptosis analysis, Annexin V-FITC staining was performed. To examine the effect on anchorage-independent growth by apigenin, soft agar assay was performed. The mRNA expression of HPV E6/E7 was examined by quantitative RT-PCR. RESULTS: Apigenin inhibited the growth of all three kind of cervical cancer cell lines (CaSki, HeLa, and C33A) and induced apoptosis in these cell lines. Also, anchorage-independent growth of Caski cells in soft agar was inhibited approximately 3 folds by apigenin treatment. Unexpectedly, mRNA expression level of both E6 and E7 in HeLa cells was not significantly affected by apigenin. CONCLUSION: These studies showed that apigenin inhibits cervical cancer cell growth through the induction of apoptosis. However, mRNA expression of HPV E6/E7 genes was not affected by the treatment of apigenin, indicating that the anti-cancer effect of apigenin in cervical cancer might be mediated via other pathway. Taken together, these results suggest that apigenin may provide a new therapeutic approach for cervical cancer.
Key Words: Apigenin, Cervical cancer, Apoptosis, Human papillomavirus E6/E7


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