Garcinol exhibits anti-proliferative activities by targeting microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 in human colon cancer cells

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Colorectal cancer is the fourth leading cause of death. Various natural compounds are known to have antitumor properties. Garcinol, a polyisoprenylated benzophenone, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In the current study, we investigated the anticancer activity of garcinol on human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line (HT-29) human colon cancer cells.


HT-29 cells were treated with various concentrations of garcinol for 24 h. The effect of garcinol on HT-29 cells proliferation was assessed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay; the mRNA expression of microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1), hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4), matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) were examined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction; apoptosis was detected by proportion of sub-G1 cell; caspase 3 activity and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) level were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and HT-29 cells migration was assessed using scratch test.


Garcinol preconditioning markedly decreased the expression of mPGES-1, HIF-1α, VEGF, CXCR4, MMP-2, and MMP-9. The proportion of cells in sub-G1 phase and caspase 3 activity were increased by garcinol treatment whereas the cell proliferation, PGE2 level, and cell migration were decreased in these cells, compared to the control group.


Our findings suggest that garcinol plays a critical role in elevating apoptosis and inhibiting HT-29 cells proliferation, angiogenesis, and invasion by suppressing the mPGES-1/PGE2/HIF-1α signaling pathways.

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