Downregulation of PLK-1 expression in kaempferol-induced apoptosis of MCF-7 cells

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The molecular mechanisms underlying the kaempferol-induced cell death have not yet been fully explained. To investigate the role of kaempferol, widely distributed in foods, in tumor progression, human breast cancer cell line, MCF-7, was treated with kaempferol. Apoptosis was indicated by the accumulation of a sub-G1 population, as well as the appearance of 4′-6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI)-stained apoptotic nuclei in the MCF-7 cells after the administration of kaempferol. Western blot analysis showed cleavage of Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), caspase-7, Bax, and caspase-9 indicating that the intracellular pathway of apoptosis was involved. Kaempferol also downregulated the expression of polo-like kinase 1 (PLK-1), which has been reported to regulate mitotic progression and to be upregulated in several human tumors. Taken together, these findings indicate that kaempferol-induced apoptosis by initiation of intrinsic caspase cascade and downregulation of PLK-1 expression.

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