Vitamin K2 suppresses malignancy of HuH7 hepatoma cells via inhibition of connexin 43

Cancer Lett. 2008 May 8;263(1):53-60. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2007.12.019. Epub 2008 Jan 30.


The anti-cancer potential of vitamin K(2) (VK(2)) in hepatoma has gained considerable attention but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Treatment of HuH7 hepatoma cells with VK(2) produced a normal liver phenotype. Following treatment of cells with VK(2), there was an increase in gap junctional intercellular communication activity, accompanied by up-regulation of connexin 32 (Cx32), dominantly expressed in normal hepatocyte. In contrast, Cx43 expression was inhibited. Moreover, the effect of VK(2) on Cx32 was abolished by over-expression of Cx43. Taken together, we propose that the anti-tumor effect of VK(2) is at least partly due to a decrease in Cx43 promoter activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Connexins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Connexins / genetics
  • DNA Primers
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Vitamin K 2 / pharmacology*


  • Connexins
  • DNA Primers
  • connexin 32
  • Vitamin K 2
  • connexin 42