Licochalcone-A, a novel flavonoid isolated from licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), causes G2 and late-G1 arrests in androgen-independent PC-3 prostate cancer cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Sep 10;322(1):263-70. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2004.07.094.


Licochalcone (LA) is a novel estrogenic flavonoid isolated from PC-SPES composition herb licorice root that was reported to show significant antitumor activity in various malignant human cell lines. To better understand its anti-CaP activities, we have investigated LA-elicited growth control and induction of apoptosis using androgen-independent p53-null PC-3 prostate cancer cells. LA induced modest level of apoptosis but had more pronounced effect on cell cycle progression arresting cells in G2/M, accompanied by suppression of cyclin B1 and cdc2. It also inhibited phosphorylation of Rb, specifically phosphorylation of S780 with no change of phosphorylation status of T821, decreased expression of transcription factor E2F concurrent with reduction of cyclin D1, down-regulation of CDKs 4 and 6, but increased cyclin E expression. These findings provide mechanistic explanation for LA activity and suggest that it may be considered as a chemopreventive agent and its anticancer properties should be further explored.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / metabolism*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Size / drug effects
  • Chalcone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Chalcone / pharmacology*
  • Chalcones
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • G1 Phase / drug effects
  • G2 Phase / drug effects
  • Glycyrrhiza / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Androgens
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Chalcones
  • Flavonoids
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Chalcone
  • licochalcone A