Isoliquiritigenin inhibits the growth of prostate cancer

Eur Urol. 2003 May;43(5):580-6. doi: 10.1016/s0302-2838(03)00090-3.


Objective: Isoliquiritigenin, one of the components in the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra L., is a member of the flavonoids, which are known to have an anti-tumor activity in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we investigated the anti-tumor effect of isoliquiritigenin on prostate cancer in vitro.

Methods: DU145 and LNCaP prostate cancer cell lines were used as targets. We examined the effects of isoliquiritigenin on cell proliferation, cell cycle regulation and cell cycle-regulating gene expression. Further, we investigated the effects of isoliquiritigenin on the GADD153 mRNA and protein expression, and promoter activity.

Results: Isoliquiritigenin significantly inhibited the proliferation of prostate cancer cell lines in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis indicated that isoliquiritigenin induced S and G2/M phase arrest. Isoliquiritigenin enhanced the expression of GADD153 mRNA and protein associated with cell cycle arrest. Further, isoliquiritigenin stimulated transcriptional activity of GADD153 promoter dose-dependently.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that isoliquiritigenin is a candidate agent for the treatment of prostate cancer and GADD153 may play an important role in isoliquiritigenin-induced cell cycle arrest and cell growth inhibition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Division
  • Chalcone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Chalcone / pharmacology*
  • Chalcones
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Glycyrrhiza*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / drug effects
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Transcription Factor CHOP
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects


  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins
  • Chalcones
  • DDIT3 protein, human
  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factor CHOP
  • Chalcone
  • isoliquiritigenin