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Planta Med. 2005 Feb;71(2):130-4.

Isoliquiritigenin inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis in human hepatoma cells.

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Graduate Institute of Natural Products, College of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.


Isoliquiritigenin (4,2',4'-trihydroxychalcone, ISL) is a natural pigment with a simple chalcone structure. In this study, we report the ISL-induced inhibition on the growth of human hepatoma cells (Hep G2) for the first time. The cell growth inhibition achieved by ISL treatment resulted in programmed cell death in a caspase activation-dependent manner, with an IC50 of 10.51 microg/mL. Outcomes of ISL treatment included the up-regulation of IkappaBalpha expression in the cytoplasm, and the decrease of NF-kappaB level as well as its activity in the nucleus. In addition, ISL also suppressed the expression of Bcl-XL and c-IAP1/2 protein, the downstream target molecule of NF-kappaB. These results demonstrated that ISL treatment inhibited the NF-kappaB cell survival-signaling pathway and induced apoptotic cell death in Hep G2 cells.

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