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Sophoraflavanone G found to induce cell death of human leukemia cells


Researchers from the Chang Gung University of Science and Technology in Taiwan found that sophoraflavanone G (SG), which was derived from Sophora flavescens, can induce apoptosis in human leukemia cells in vitro. The results of the study were published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

  • The team had previously noted that SG possessed anti-inflammatory activity, based on its suppression of lipopolysaccharide-induced RAW 264.7 macrophages.
  • In this study, they looked at the effects of SG on apoptosis – in particular, when it is tested on human leukemia HL-60 cells.
  • Researchers treated HL-60 cells with SG concentrations between 3–30 micromolar.
  • To determine the viability of HL-60 cells, the researchers used the MTT method.
  • They also used DAPI fluorescence staining to study the nuclear condensation indicative of apoptosis. They used Western blotting to study apoptotic signal proteins.
  • Based on the results, SG-treated HL-60 cells exhibited increased levels of apoptosis, including DNA fragmentation and nuclear condensation.
  • In addition, SG activated caspase-3 and -9; it also downregulated Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL.
  • SG upregulated Bax, as well as released cytochrome c from the mitochondria into the cytoplasm. This enabled apoptosis using a mitochondrially mediated “intrinsic” pathway.
  • Researchers also noted that SG cleaved poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 and activate mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways.

In sum, SG was found to increase the effect of apoptosis through activating caspase-3 and mitochondrial-mediated and MAPK pathways.

Learn the anti-cancer properties of plant compounds at Phytonutrients.news.

Journal Reference:

Li ZY, Huang WC, Tu RS, Gu PY, Lin CF, Liou CJ. SOPHORAFLAVANONE G INDUCES APOPTOSIS IN HUMAN LEUKEMIA CELLS AND BLOCKS MAPK ACTIVATION. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2 February 2016;44(01):165–176. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X16500117

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