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, 19 (4), 1061-6

The Topoisomerase II Inhibitor, Genistein, Induces G2/M Arrest and Apoptosis in Human Malignant Glioma Cell Lines

  • PMID: 18357397

The Topoisomerase II Inhibitor, Genistein, Induces G2/M Arrest and Apoptosis in Human Malignant Glioma Cell Lines

Friederike Schmidt et al. Oncol Rep.


The protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor, genistein, has been reported to inhibit proliferation and to induce cell death in various non-solid and solid cancer cell lines. Herein, we examined the effects of genistein in several human malignant glioma cell lines. We found that genistein inhibited the proliferation of LN-18, LNT-229, LN-308 and T98G cells at EC50 concentrations of 25-80 microM (72 h of exposure). The growth of a non-neoplastic immortalized human astrocyte cell line, SV-FHAS, was inhibited at similar concentrations. There was a reduction in [3H]-methylthymidine incorporation and a moderate lactate dehydrogenase release as a sign of cell death in genistein-treated glioma cells. Electron microscopy showed morphological changes with mitochondrial swelling and apoptosis in glioma cells treated with high concentrations of genistein. Genistein-induced cytotoxicity was associated with an increased DNA/topoisomerase II complex formation. Furthermore, genistein induced cell cycle arrest in G2/M. There was an increase in the p53 and p21 levels in response to genistein. However, there was no difference in genistein sensitivity between p21-deficient colon carcinoma cells and isogenic control cells. Genistein-induced cell death in LN-18 and LNT-229 was unaffected by the ectopic expression of the preferential caspase 1/8 inhibitor, crm-A, or co-exposure to the pan-specific pseudosubstrate caspase inhibitor, zVAD-fmk. The ectopic expression of the anti-apoptotic BCL-2 protein attenuated the cytotoxic effects of genistein. Moreover, the ectopic expression of temperature-sensitive p53V135A, which acts as a dominant-negative p53 mutant at 38.5 degrees C but assumes p53 wild-type properties at 32.5 degrees C, in LN-18 or LNT-229 cells, had no effect on genistein cytotoxicity at either temperature. Genistein did not act in synergy with CD95 ligand-induced apoptosis or various cancer chemotherapy drugs in cytotoxic or clonogenic cell death assays. Thus, genistein-like protein kinase inhibitors are promising agents for the experimental treatment of malignant gliomas.

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