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Gynecol Oncol. 2012 Mar;124(3):606-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2011.11.044. Epub 2011 Dec 3.

Inhibition of cell growth and induction of apoptosis in ovarian carcinoma cell lines CaOV3 and SKOV3 by natural withanolide Withaferin A.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA. xzhang2@kumc.edu



Withaferin A, a natural withanolide, has shown anti-cancer properties in various cancers including breast cancer, but its effects in ovarian cancer remain unexplored. Notch 1 and Notch3 are critically involved in ovarian cancer progression. We decided to examine the effects of Withaferin A in ovarian carcinoma cell lines and its molecular mechanism of action including its regulation of Notch.


The effects of Withaferin A were examined in CaOV3 and SKOV3 ovarian carcinoma cell lines using MTS assay, clonogenic assay, annexin V/propidium iodide flow cytometry, and cell cycle analysis. Western analysis was conducted to examine the molecular mechanisms of action.


Withaferin A inhibited the growth and colony formation of CaOV3 and SKOV3 cells by inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. These changes correlated with down-regulation of Notch1, Notch3, cdc25C, total and phosphorylated Akt, and bcl-2 proteins.


Withaferin A inhibits CaOV3 and SKOV3 ovarian carcinoma cell growth, at least in part by targeting Notch1 and Notch3.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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