Flavonoids of KoreanCitrus aurantiumL. Induce Apoptosis via Intrinsic Pathway in Human Hepatoblastoma HepG2 Cells

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Abstract

KoreanCitrus aurantiumL. 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 fromC. aurantiumon human hepatoblastoma cell, HepG2. TheCitrusflavonoids inhibit the proliferation of HepG2 cells in a dose-dependent manner. This result was consistent with thein vivoxenograft 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 fromCitrusinhibits HepG2 cell proliferation by inducing apoptosis via an intrinsic pathway. These findings suggest that flavonoids extracted fromC. aurantiumL. are potential chemotherapeutic agents against liver cancer. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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