Flavonoids suppress human glioblastoma cell growth by inhibiting cell metabolism, migration, and by regulating extracellular matrix proteins and metalloproteinases expression

Chem Biol Interact. 2015 Dec 5;242:123-38. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2015.07.014. Epub 2015 Sep 25.


The malignant gliomas are very common primary brain tumors with poor prognosis, which require more effective therapies than the current used, such as with chemotherapy drugs. In this work, we investigated the effects of several polyhydroxylated flavonoids namely, rutin, quercetin (F7), apigenin (F32), chrysin (F11), kaempferol (F12), and 3',4'-dihydroxyflavone (F2) in human GL-15 glioblastoma cells. We observed that all flavonoids decreased the number of viable cells and the mitochondrial metabolism. Furthermore, they damaged mitochondria and rough endoplasmic reticulum, inducing apoptosis. Flavonoids also induced a delay in cell migration, related to a reduction in filopodia-like structures on the cell surface, reduction on metalloproteinase (MMP-2) expression and activity, as well as an increase in intra- and extracellular expression of fibronectin, and intracellular expression of laminin. Morphological changes were also evident in adherent cells characterized by the presence of a condensed cell body with thin and long cellular processes, expressing glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Therefore, these flavonoids should be tested as potential antitumor agents in vitro and in vivo in other malignant glioma models.

Keywords: Differentiation; Fibronectin; Flavonoids; Glioblastoma; Invasion; Metalloproteinase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / drug effects
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / metabolism*
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Glioblastoma / drug therapy*
  • Glioblastoma / metabolism
  • Glioblastoma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Metalloproteases / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Flavonoids
  • Metalloproteases