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J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem. 2007 Aug;22(4):439-44.

Phosphoprotein levels, MAPK activities and NFkappaB expression are affected by fisetin.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, State University of Campinas, Campinas, SP, Brazil.


Flavonoids, polyphenolic phytochemicals, are ubiquitous in plants and are commonly present in the human diet. They may exert diverse beneficial effects, including antioxidant and anticarcinogenic activities. The present study was designed to evaluate three biomolecules that play important roles in the apoptotic process: mitogen-activated protein kinases, protein phosphatases and NFkappaB, using HL60 cells treated with fisetin as an experimental model. Our results demonstrated that cells treated with fisetin presented high expression of NFkappaB, activation of MAPK p38 and an increase of phosphoprotein levels; inhibition of enzymes involved in redox status maintenance were also observed. Our findings reinforce the hypothesis that fisetin is likely to exert beneficial and/or toxic actions on cells not through its potential as antioxidant but rather through its modulation of protein kinase and phosphatase signaling cascades. Additionally, our results also indicate that the cellular effects of fisetin will ultimately depend on the cell type and on the extent to which they associate with the cells, either by interactions at the membrane or by uptake into the cytosol.

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