Effect of daidzein on cell growth, cell cycle, and telomerase activity of human cervical cancer in vitro

Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2004 Sep-Oct;14(5):882-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1048-891X.2004.14525.x.


Phytoestrogens are some plant compounds exhibiting estrogen-like activities. However, some studies have shown that they also affect the growth of some nonhormone-dependent diseases. In this study, daidzein--one of the most common phytoestrogens--was used to investigate its effects on human cervical cancer cells HeLa in vitro. First, the cell growth was measured by using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Then, the distributions of cell cycle and apoptosis were analyzed with the help of flow cytometry. Finally, the telomerase activity was detected by using real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The results showed that at the concentrations from 6.25 to 100 micro mol/l, daidzein inhibited the growth of HeLa cells. Flow cytometric analysis showed that cancer cells were arrested at G(0)/G(1) or G(2)/M phase with daidzein. The inductive effects of apoptosis were more obviously observed in low-concentration groups. After HeLa cells were treated with daidzein, the expression of human telomerase catalytic subunit mRNA decreased. These meant that daidzein affected human nonhormone-dependent cervical cancer cells in several ways, including cell growth, cell cycle, and telomerase activity in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Female
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Isoflavones / pharmacology*
  • Phytoestrogens / pharmacology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Telomerase / drug effects*
  • Telomerase / pharmacology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Isoflavones
  • Phytoestrogens
  • daidzein
  • Telomerase