Daidzein overcomes TRAIL-resistance in malignant glioma cells by modulating the expression of the intrinsic apoptotic inhibitor, bcl-2

Neurosci Lett. 2009 May 1;454(3):223-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.03.031. Epub 2009 Mar 14.


The soy isoflavone Daidzein has been reported to exhibit therapeutic activity in cancer. In this study glioblastoma cells and human astrocytes were treated with Daidzein, tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) or the combination of both. Treatment with subtoxic doses of Daidzein in combination with TRAIL induces rapid apoptosis in glioma cells. Notably, human astrocytes were not affected by the combined treatment consisting of Daidzein and TRAIL. Combined treatment with Daidzein and TRAIL augmented the activation of caspase-9, suggesting that Daidzein modulated the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. Daidzein did not modulate the expression of death receptors, c-FLIP, XIAP and survivin. However, Daidzein down-regulated bcl-2 and over-expression of bcl-2 attenuated apoptosis induced by the combination of Daidzein and TRAIL. In summary, bcl-2 is a key regulator in TRAIL-Daidzein mediated cell death in malignant glioma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / pharmacology*
  • Astrocytes / drug effects
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Glioma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Isoflavones / pharmacology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand / biosynthesis
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand / pharmacology*


  • Isoflavones
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Receptors, TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • TNFSF10 protein, human
  • daidzein