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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Induction of apoptotic cell death by phytoestrogens by up-regulating the levels of phospho-p53 and p21 in normal and malignant estrogen receptor α-negative breast cells

Hye-Sook Seo, Ji-Hyun Ju, Kibeom Jang, Incheol Shin
Nutrition Research 2011, 31 (2): 139-46
21419318
In this study, we investigated the underlying mechanism by which phytoestrogens suppress the growth of normal (MCF-10A) and malignant (MDA-MB-231) estrogen receptor α (ERα)-negative breast cells. We hypothesized that phytoestrogen inhibits the proliferation of ERα-negative breast cancer cells. We found that all tested phytoestrogens (genistein, apigenin, and quercetin) suppressed the growth of both MCF-10A and MDA-MB-231 cells, as revealed by proliferation assays. These results were accompanied by an increase in the sub-G0/G1 apoptotic fractions as well as an increase in the cell population in the G2/M phase in both cell types, as revealed by cell cycle analysis. When we assessed the effect of phytoestrogens on the level of intracellular signaling molecules by Western blot analysis, we found that phytoestrogens increased the level of active p53 (phospho-p53) without changing the p53 level in both MCF-10A and MDA-MB-231 cells. Phytoestrogens also induced an increase in p21, a p53 target gene, and a decrease in either Bcl-xL or cyclin B1 in both cell types. In contrast, the protein levels of phosphatase and tensin homolog, cyclin D1, cell division control protein 2 homolog, phospho-cell division control protein 2 homolog, and p27 were not changed after phytoestrogen treatment. Our data indicate that phytoestrogens induce apoptotic cell death of ERα-negative breast cancer cells via p53-dependent pathway and suggest that phytoestrogens may be promising agents in the treatment and prevention of ERα-negative breast cancer.

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