Induction of cell cycle arrest and p21(CIP1/WAF1) expression in human lung cancer cells by isoliquiritigenin

Cancer Lett. 2004 Apr 15;207(1):27-35. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2003.10.023.


Isoliquiritigenin is a natural flavonoid isolated from licorice, shallot and bean sprouts. The effect of isoliquiritigenin on cell proliferation and cell cycle progression was examined in the A549 human lung cancer cell line. Isoliquiritigenin significantly inhibited the proliferation of lung cancer cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that isoliquiritigenin restrained the cell cycle progression at G2/M phase. Further examinations using cDNA arrays and real-time quantitative RT-PCR revealed that isoliquiritigenin enhanced the expression of p21(CIP1/WAF1), a universal inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases. These results suggest that isoliquiritigenin will be a promising agent for use in chemopreventive or therapeutics against lung cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chalcone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Chalcone / pharmacology*
  • Chalcones
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Cyclins / biosynthesis*
  • DNA, Complementary / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • G2 Phase
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Mitosis
  • Models, Chemical
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • RNA / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Time Factors
  • Up-Regulation


  • CDKN1A protein, human
  • Chalcones
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Cyclins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Flavonoids
  • Chalcone
  • RNA
  • isoliquiritigenin