Quercetin Suppresses Twist to Induce Apoptosis in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells

Citation: Ranganathan S, Halagowder D, Sivasithambaram ND (2015) Quercetin Suppresses Twist to Induce Apoptosis in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells. PLoS ONE 10(10): e0141370. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0141370
Published: October 22, 2015

Quercetin is a dietary flavonoid which exerts anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. In this study, we investigated the anti-proliferative effect of quercetin in two breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231), which differed in hormone receptor. IC50 value (37μM) of quercetin showed significant cytotoxicity in MCF-7 cells, which was not observed in MDA-MB-231 cells even at 100μM of quercetin treatment. To study the response of cancer cells to quercetin, with respect to different hormone receptors, both the cell lines were treated with a fixed concentration (40μM) of quercetin. MCF-7 cells on quercetin treatment showed more apoptotic cells with G1 phase arrest. In addition, quercetin effectively suppressed the expression of CyclinD1, p21, Twist and phospho p38MAPK, which was not observed in MDA-MB-231 cells. To analyse the molecular mechanism of quercetin in exerting an apoptotic effect in MCF-7 cells, Twist was over-expressed and the molecular changes were observed after quercetin administration. Quercetin effectively regulated the expression of Twist, in turn p16 and p21 which induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells. In conclusion, quercetin induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells through suppression of Twist via p38MAPK pathway.


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