Chrysin (5,7-dihydroxylflavone, Chry) is a natural product extracted from plants, honey, and propolis. In this work, a novel chrysin-organogermanium(IV) complex (Chry-Ge) with enhanced anticancer activities was synthesized, and its potential anticancer effects against cancer cells were measured using various methods. MTT results showed that Chry-Ge had significant inhibition effects on the proliferation of MCF-7, HepG2 and Colo205 human cancer cell lines in a dose-dependent manner while had little cytotoxic effects on MCF-10A human normal cells (MCF-10A cells) with the same treatment of Chry-Ge. These results suggested that Chry-Ge possessed enhanced anticancer effects and high selectivity between cancer cells and normal cells. The immuno-staining results showed that the nuclei of MCF-7 cells represented a total fragmented morphology and a disorganized cytoskeletal network in MCF-7 cells after Chry-Ge treatment. Besides, atomic force microscopy (AFM) was applied to detect the changes of ultrastructural and biomechanical properties of MCF-7 cellular membrane induced by Chry-Ge. The AFM data indicated that Chry-Ge treatment directly caused the decrease of cell rigidity and adhesion force of MCF-7 cells, suggesting that membrane toxicity might be one of the targets for Chry-Ge in MCF-7 cells. Moreover, the fluorescence-based flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that Chry-Ge could induce apoptosis in MCF-7 cells in ROS-dependent mitochondrial pathway. All results collectively showed that Chry-Ge could be as a promising anticancer drug for cancer therapy.
Keywords: Atomic force microscopy (AFM); Chrysin; Chry–Ge; MCF-7.
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