HQS-3, a newly synthesized flavonoid, possesses potent anti-tumor effect in vivo and in vitro

Yuxin Zhou, Na Lu, Haiwei Zhang, Libin Wei, Lei Tao, Qinsheng Dai, Li Zhao, Biqi Lin, Qilong Ding, Qinglong Guo
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 2013 July 16, 49 (4): 649-58
HQS-3 is a newly baicalein derivative with a benzene substitution. We investigated the anticancer effect of HQS-3 in vivo and in vitro. HQS-3 significantly decreased tumor growth in mice inoculated with Heps and HepG2 cells; and had little influence on the state and weight of animals. After treatment with 20 mg/kg HQS-3, the inhibitory rate of tumor weight in mice inoculated with Heps and HepG2 cells were 63.62% and 68.03%, respectively. Meanwhile, HQS-3 inhibited the viability of various kinds of tumor cells with IC50 values in the range of 22.98-54.32 μM after 48 h treatment measured by MTT-assay. HQS-3 remarkably inhibited viability of hepatoma cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner and induced apoptosis in HepG2 cells by DAPI staining and Annexin V/PI double staining. The apoptosis-induction effect of HQS-3 was attributed to its ability to modulate the activity of caspase-9, caspase-3 and PARP. Moreover, the expression of bax protein was increased while the bcl-2 protein was decreased, leading to an increase in Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. The accumulation of ROS induced by HQS-3 in HepG2 cells was also observed. The further results suggested that HQS-3 induced mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis by increasing ROS level and inhibiting the expression of anti-oxidative protein SOD2. HQS-3 exerted anti-tumor activity both in vitro and in vivo via inducing tumor cells apoptosis, and these results suggested that it deserves further investigation as a novel chemotherapy for human tumors.

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