Galangin inhibits proliferation of hepatocellular carcinoma cells by inducing endoplasmic reticulum stress

Lijuan Su, Xiaoyi Chen, Jun Wu, Biyun Lin, Haitao Zhang, Liubo Lan, Hui Luo
Food and Chemical Toxicology 2013, 62: 810-6
Prolonged endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress may activate apoptotic pathways in cancer cells. It is suggested that ER stress has the potential of enhancing tumor death in cancer therapy. Galangin, a flavonol derived from Alpinia officinarum Hance, has been shown to suppress the proliferation of hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HCC). The aim of this study was to determine whether galangin was able to induce ER stress in HepG2, Hep3B and PLC/PRF/5 cells. The proliferation of HCC was tested by MTT method. Intracellular Ca(2+) levels were measured with Fluo3-AM.The proteins levels of GRP94, GRP78 and CHOP were detected by Western blot. To further understand the anti-HCC mechanism of galangin, mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) were detected. The results showed that galangin treatment induced ER stress was evidenced by increased protein levels of GRP94, GRP78 and CHOP, as well as increased free cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration. ER stress inhibitor 4-PBA and CHOP siRNA blocked significantly galangin-induced ER in all three cell lines. Further experiments showed that MAPKs involved in ER stress induced by galangin. In summary, galangin is identified as a stimulator of ER stress to suppress the proliferation of HCC, and may be used as a potential anti-cancer agent.

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