Radiosensitization of non-small cell lung cancer by kaempferol

Oncol Rep. 2015 Nov;34(5):2351-6. doi: 10.3892/or.2015.4204. Epub 2015 Aug 19.


The aim of the present study was to determine whether kaempferol has a radiosensitization potential for lung cancer in vitro and in vivo. The in vitro radio-sensitization activity of kaempferol was elucidated in A-549 lung cancer cells by using an MTT (3-(4 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-25-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide) assay, cell cycle analysis and clonogenic assay. The in vivo activity was evaluated in the BALB/c nude mouse xenograft model of A-549 cells by hematoxylin and eosin staining and immunohistochemistry, and the tumor volume was recorded. Protein levels of the apoptotic pathway were detected by western blot analysis. Treatment with kaempferol inhibited the growth of A-549 cells through activation of apoptotic pathway. However, the same doses did not affect HFL1 normal lung cell growth. Kaempferol induced G2/M cell cycle arrest and the enhancement of radiation-induced death and clonogenic survival inhibition. The in vivo data showed that kaempferol increased tumor cell apoptosis and killing of radiation. In conclusion, the findings demonstrated that kaempferol increased tumor cell killing by radiation in vitro and in vivo through inhibition of the AKT/PI3K and ERK pathways and activation of the mitochondria apoptosis pathway. The results of the present study provided solid evidence that kaempferol is a safe and potential radiosensitizer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / radiation effects*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / radiotherapy*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival
  • G2 Phase Cell Cycle Checkpoints
  • Humans
  • Kaempferols / pharmacology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Radiation Tolerance / drug effects
  • Radiation-Sensitizing Agents / pharmacology*
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Kaempferols
  • Radiation-Sensitizing Agents
  • kaempferol
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases