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Chemotherapy. 2009;55(1):6-10. doi: 10.1159/000166383. Epub 2008 Oct 31.

Quercetin is able to demethylate the p16INK4a gene promoter.

Author information

1
Reproductive and Genetic Center of the National Research Institute for Family Planning, Beijing, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Quercetin is a flavonoid found ubiquitously in nature. Studies in vitro and in vivo have suggested that quercetin may have a protective role against colon cancer.

METHODS:

We selected the human colon cancer cell line RKO to investigate the effects of quercetin in vitro. RKO cells were treated with different concentrations of quercetin.

RESULTS:

In comparison to the control, quercetin was able to inhibit the growth of RKO cells, as measured using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Untreated RKO cells demonstrated almost complete methylation of the p16INK4a gene. Hypermethylation of the p16INK4a gene was successfully reversed after 120 h of treatment with quercetin. Expression of the p16INK4a gene was restored in a concentration-dependent manner.

CONCLUSION:

All these data suggest that quercetin has antitumor properties, probably via demethylation of the p16INK4a gene promoter.

PMID:
18974642
DOI:
10.1159/000166383
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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