6-C-(E-phenylethenyl)-naringenin Suppresses Colorectal Cancer Growth by Inhibiting cyclooxygenase-1

Cancer Res. 2014 Jan 1;74(1):243-52. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-2245. Epub 2013 Nov 12.


Recent clinical trials raised concerns regarding the cardiovascular toxicity of selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors and cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) is now being reconsidered as a target for chemoprevention. Our aims were to determine whether selective COX-1 inhibition could delay or prevent cancer development and also clarify the underlying mechanisms. Data clearly showed that COX-1 was required for maintenance of malignant characteristics of colon cancer cells or tumor promoter-induced transformation of preneoplastic cells. We also successfully applied a ligand-docking computational method to identify a novel selective COX-1 inhibitor, 6-C-(E-phenylethenyl)-naringenin (designated herein as 6CEPN). 6CEPN could bind to COX-1 and specifically inhibited its activity both in vitro and ex vivo. In colorectal cancer cells, it potently suppressed anchorage-independent growth by inhibiting COX-1 activity. 6CEPN also effectively suppressed tumor growth in a 28-day colon cancer xenograft model without any obvious systemic toxicity. Taken together, COX-1 plays a critical role in human colorectal carcinogenesis, and this specific COX-1 inhibitor merits further investigation as a potential preventive agent against colorectal cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Cyclooxygenase 1 / metabolism*
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Flavanones / pharmacology*
  • HT29 Cells
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Transfection
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Flavanones
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • naringenin