Anti-proliferative and anti-invasive effects of ferulic acid in TT medullary thyroid cancer cells interacting with URG4/URGCP

Tumour Biol. 2016 Feb;37(2):1933-40. doi: 10.1007/s13277-015-3984-z. Epub 2015 Sep 3.


Ferulic acid (4-hydroxy-3-methoxycinnamic acid; FA), a common dietary plant phenolic compound, is abundant in fruits and vegetables. The aim of present study is to investigate the effects of FA on cell cycle, apoptosis, invasion, migration, and colony formation in the TT medullary thyroid cancer cell line. The effect of FA on cell viability was determined by using CellTiter-Glo assay. IC50 dose in the TT cells was detected as 150 μM. URG4/URGCP (upregulated gene-4/upregulator of cell proliferation) is a novel gene in full-length mRNA of 3.607 kb located on 7p13. It was determined that FA caused a decrease in the expression of novel gene URG4/URGCP, CCND1, CDK4, CDK6, BCL2, MMP2, and MMP9, a significant increase in the expression of p53, PARP, PUMA, NOXA, BAX, BID, CASP3, CASP9, and TIMP1 genes in TT human thyroid cancer cell line by using real-time PCR. It was found that FA in TT cells suppressed invasion, migration, and colony formation by using matrigel invasion chamber, wound healing, and colony formation assay, respectively. In conclusion, it is thought that FA indicates anticarcinogenesis activity by affecting cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, invasion, migration, and colony formation on TT cells.

Keywords: Ferulic acid; TT cells; Thyroid cancer; URG4/URGCP.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / drug effects*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Coumaric Acids / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects


  • Coumaric Acids
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • URGCP protein, human
  • ferulic acid

Supplementary concepts

  • Thyroid cancer, medullary