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, 29 (12), 1940-9

Flavonoids of Korean Citrus Aurantium L. Induce Apoptosis via Intrinsic Pathway in Human Hepatoblastoma HepG2 Cells

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Flavonoids of Korean Citrus Aurantium L. Induce Apoptosis via Intrinsic Pathway in Human Hepatoblastoma HepG2 Cells

Seung Hwan Lee et al. Phytother Res.

Abstract

Korean Citrus aurantium L. has long been used as a medicinal herb for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties. The present study investigates the anticancer role of flavonoids extracted from C. aurantium on human hepatoblastoma cell, HepG2. The Citrus flavonoids inhibit the proliferation of HepG2 cells in a dose-dependent manner. This result was consistent with the in vivo xenograft results. Apoptosis was detected by cell morphology, cell cycle analysis, and immunoblot. Flavonoids decreased the level of pAkt and other downstream targets of phosphoinositide-3-kinase/Akt pathway - P-4EBP1 and P-p70S6K. The expressions of cleaved caspase 3, Bax, and Bak were increased, while those of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL were decreased with an increase in the expression of Bax/Bcl-xL ratio in treated cells. Loss of mitochondrial membrane potential was also observed in flavonoid-treated HepG2 cells. It was also observed that the P-p38 protein level was increased both dose and time dependently in flavonoid-treated cells. Collectively, these results suggest that flavonoid extracted from Citrus inhibits HepG2 cell proliferation by inducing apoptosis via an intrinsic pathway. These findings suggest that flavonoids extracted from C. aurantium L. are potential chemotherapeutic agents against liver cancer.

Keywords: Akt; Bax/Bcl-xL; Citrus aurantium; HepG2; apoptosis; p-38.

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