Scope: The objective was to examine the inhibitory effects of citrus fruit bioactive compounds on BxPC-3 and PANC-1 human pancreatic cancer cells, focusing on the antiproliferative mechanism of action of the flavonoid apigenin related to the glycogen synthase kinase-3β/nuclear factor kappa B signaling pathway.
Methods and results: Flavonoids, limonoids, phenolic acids, and ascorbic acid were tested for cytotoxic effects on BxPC-3 and PANC-1 cells; apigenin was the most potent (IC50 = 23 and 12 μM for 24 and 48 h for BxPC-3 and IC50 = 71 and 41 μM for 24 and 48 h for PANC-1). Apigenin induced pancreatic cell death through inhibition of the glycogen synthase kinase-3β/nuclear factor kappa B signaling pathway. Apigenin arrested cell cycle at G2 /M phase (36 and 32% at 50 μM for BxPC-3 and PANC-1, respectively) with concomitant decrease in the expression of cyclin B1. Apigenin activated the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis (44 and 14% at 50 μM for BxPC-3 and PANC-1, respectively) and modified the expression of apoptotic proteins. Apigenin highly upregulated the expression of cytokine genes IL17F (114.2-fold), LTA (33.1-fold), IL17C (23.2-fold), IL17A (11.3-fold), and IFNB1 (8.9-fold) in BxPC-3 cells, which potentially contributed to the anticancer properties.
Conclusion: Flavonoids have a protective role in pancreatic cancer tumorigenesis.
Keywords: Apigenin; Flavonoids; GSK-3β; NF-κB; Pancreatic cancer.
© 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.