Quercetin can inhibit the growth of cancer cells with the ability to act as chemopreventers. Its cancer-preventive effect has been attributed to various mechanisms, including the induction of cell-cycle arrest and/or apoptosis as well as the antioxidant functions. Nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) is a signaling pathway that controls transcriptional activation of genes important for tight regulation of many cellular processes and is aberrantly expressed in many types of cancer. Inhibitors of NF-κB pathway have shown potential anti-tumor activities. However, it is not fully elucidated in colon cancer. In this study, we demonstrate that quercetin induces apoptosis in human colon cancer CACO-2 and SW-620 cells through inhibiting NF-κB pathway, as well as down-regulation of B-cell lymphoma 2 and up-regulation of Bax, thus providing basis for clinical application of quercetin in colon cancer cases.
Keywords: Apoptosis; colon cancer; nuclear factor-kappa B; quercetin.