Genistein inhibits phorbol ester-induced NF-κB transcriptional activity and COX-2 expression by blocking the phosphorylation of p65/RelA in human mammary epithelial cells

Myung-Hoon Chung, Do-Hee Kim, Hye-Kyung Na, Jung-Hwan Kim, Ha-Na Kim, Guy Haegeman, Young-Joon Surh
Mutation Research 2014, 768: 74-83
Genistein, an isoflavone present in soy products, has chemopreventive effects on mammary carcinogenesis. In the present study, we have investigated the effects of genistein on phorbol ester-induced expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) that plays an important role in the pathophysiology of inflammation-associated carcinogenesis. Pretreatment of cultured human breast epithelial (MCF10A) cells with genistein reduced COX-2 expression induced by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA). There are multiple lines of evidence supporting that the induction of COX-2 is regulated by the eukaryotic transcription factor NF-κB. Genistein failed to inhibit TPA-induced nuclear translocation and DNA binding of NF-κB as well as degradation of IκB. However, genistein abrogated the TPA-induced transcriptional activity of NF-κB as determined by the luciferase reporter gene assay. Genistein inhibited phosphorylation of the p65 subunit of NF-κB and its interaction with cAMP regulatory element-binding protein-binding protein (CBP)/p300 and TATA-binding protein (TBP). TPA-induced NF-κB phosphorylation was abolished by pharmacological inhibition of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). Likewise, pharmacologic inhibition or dominant negative mutation of ERK suppressed phosphorylation of p65. The above findings, taken together, suggest that genistein inhibits TPA-induced COX-2 expression in MCF10A cells by blocking ERK-mediated phosphorylation of p65 and its subsequent interaction with CBP and TBP.

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