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Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2009 Mar;63(4):673-80. doi: 10.1007/s00280-008-0784-9. Epub 2008 Jul 3.

Inhibition of NF-kappaB-mediated transcription and induction of apoptosis in human breast cancer cells by epoxypseudoisoeugenol-2-methyl butyrate.

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National Center for Natural Products Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Mississippi, Mississippi 38677, USA.



Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent woman cancers. Genomic instability, accumulative mutations, and subsequent changes in intracellular signaling cascades play key roles in the development of human breast cancers. Activation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) has been implicated in oncogenesis of breast cancers and is known to be associated with resistance to anticancer agents and apoptosis. Blocking NF-kappaB signaling may represent a therapeutic strategy in breast cancer therapy. The objective of this study is to investigate the in vitro effects of epoxypseudoisoeugenol-2-methyl butyrate (EPB), a phenylpropranoid isolated from Pimpinella corymbosa, on the activation of NF-kappaB, cell growth, cell cycle progression and apoptosis in MCF-7 (estrogen-dependent) and BT-549 (estrogen-independent) breast cancer cells.


Transcriptional activity of NF-kappaB was measured by cell based reporter gene assay. Cell proliferation was determined by MTT assay. Cell cycle analysis was carried out by flow cytometry and apoptosis was observed by DAPI staining assy.


EPB inhibited the NF-kappaB-mediated transcription activity induced by tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) in MCF-7 cells. EPB also inhibited constitutive NF-kappaB transcriptional activity in BT-549 cells. EPB inhibited the proliferation of both MCF-7 and BT-549 cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. EPB induced cell cycle arrest in G(1)/G(0) phase and apoptosis in both MCF-7 and BT 549 cells.


These in vitro results indicated that EPB has a potential for use against both hormone-dependent and hormone-independent breast cancers and its effects seem to be mediated by inhibiting the NF-kappaB activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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