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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010 Aug 1;77(5):1527-35. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2010.02.043.

Enhancement of p53-mutant human colorectal cancer cells radiosensitivity by flavonoid fisetin.

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  • 1Department of Life Science, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan.



The aim of this study was to investigate whether fisetin is a potential radiosensitizer for human colorectal cancer cells, which are relatively resistant to radiotherapy.


Cell survival was examined by clonogenic survival assay, and DNA fragmentation was assessed by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling assay. The effects of treatments on cell cycle distribution and apoptosis were examined by flow cytometry. Western blot analysis was performed to ascertain the protein levels of gamma-H2AX, phospho-Chk2, active caspase-3, PARP cleavage, phospho-p38, phospho-AKT, and phospho-ERK1/2.


Fisetin pretreatment enhanced the radiosensitivity of p53-mutant HT-29 human colorectal cancer cells but not human keratocyte HaCaT cells; it also prolonged radiation-induced G(2)/M arrest, enhanced radiation-induced cell growth arrest in HT-29 cells, and suppressed radiation-induced phospho-H2AX (Ser-139) and phospho-Chk2 (Thr-68) in p53-mutant HT-29 cells. Pretreatment with fisetin enhanced radiation-induced caspase-dependent apoptosis in HT-29 cells. Fisetin pretreatment augmented radiation-induced phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, which is involved in caspase-mediated apoptosis, and SB202190 significantly reduced apoptosis and radiosensitivity in fisetin-pretreated HT-29 cells. By contrast, both phospho-AKT and phospho-ERK1/2, which are involved in cell proliferation and antiapoptotic pathways, were suppressed after irradiation combined with fisetin pretreatment.


To our knowledge, this study is the first to provide evidence that fisetin exerts a radiosensitizing effect in p53-mutant HT-29 cells. Fisetin could potentially be developed as a novel radiosensitizer against radioresistant human cancer cells.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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