7-O-Geranylquercetin induces apoptosis in gastric cancer cells via ROS-MAPK mediated mitochondrial signaling pathway activation

Yanyan Zhu, Yameng Jiang, Lei Shi, Linying Du, Xiaodong Xu, Enxia Wang, Yong Sun, Xin Guo, Boyang Zou, Huaxin Wang, Changyuan Wang, Lidan Sun, Yuhong Zhen
Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 2017, 87: 527-538
7-O-Geranylquercetin (GQ) is a novel O-alkylated derivate of quercetin. In this study, we evaluated its apoptosis induction effects in human gastric cancer cell lines SGC-7901 and MGC-803 and explored the potential molecular mechanisms. The results demonstrated that GQ lowered viability of SGC-7901 and MGC-803 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner without apparent cytotoxicity to human gastric epithelial cell line GES-1. GQ could induce apoptosis in SGC-7901 and MGC-803cells, and arrest the gastric cancer cells at G2/M phase. Mechanism study showed that GQ triggered generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), then activated p38 and JNK signaling pathways, subsequently led to mitochondrial impairment by regulating the expression of Bcl-2, Bcl-xl and Bax, and finally promoted the release of cytochrome c and the activation of caspases to induce apoptosis. In addition, Z-VAD-FMK (caspase inhibitor) could reverse GQ-induced apoptosis. SB203580 (p38 inhibitor) and SP600125 (JNK inhibitor) could rescue GQ-induced cell death and attenuate mitochondrial signal pathway activation. Furthermore, NAC (ROS inhibitor) could rescue GQ-induced cell death, reduce ROS generation, decrease the phosphorylation of p38 and JNK, and then attenuate the activation of mitochondrial signal pathway. Taken together, GQ induces caspase-dependent apoptosis in gastric cancer cells through activating ROS-MAPK mediated mitochondrial signal pathway. This study highlights the potential use of GQ as a gastric cancer therapeutic agent.

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