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Cancer Sci. 2010 Nov;101(11):2462-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2010.01668.x.

Nobiletin, a citrus polymethoxyflavonoid, suppresses multiple angiogenesis-related endothelial cell functions and angiogenesis in vivo.

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Department of Applied Biological Science, Tokyo University of Science, Chiba Institute for World Health Development, Mukogawa Women's University, Hyogo Tokyo, Japan.


Nobiletin is a citrus polymethoxyflavonoid that suppresses tumor growth and metastasis, both of which depend on angiogenesis. We recently identified nobiletin as a cell differentiation modulator. Because cell differentiation is a critical event in angiogenesis, it might be possible that nobiletin could exhibit antiangiogenic activity, resulting in suppression of these tumor malignant properties. To verify this possibility, we examined the antiangiogenic effects of nobiletin in vitro and in vivo. Nobiletin had concentration-dependent inhibitory effects on multiple functions of angiogenesis-related endothelial cells (EC); it suppressed the proliferation, migration and tube formation on matrigel of human umbilical vein EC (HUVEC) stimulated with endothelial cell growth supplement (ECGS), a mixture of acidic and basic fibroblast growth factors (FGFs). Gelatin zymography and northern blotting revealed that nobiletin suppressed pro-matrix metalloproteinase-2 (proMMP-2) production and MMP-2 mRNA expression in ECGS-stimulated HUVEC. Nobiletin also downregulated cell-associated plasminogen activator (PA) activity and urokinase-type PA mRNA expression. Furthermore, nobiletin inhibited angiogenic differentiation induced by vascular endothelial growth factor and FGF, an in vitro angiogenesis model. This inhibition was accompanied by downregulation of angiogenesis-related signaling molecules, such as extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and transcriptional factors (c-Jun and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3), and activation of the caspase pathway. In a chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane assay, nobiletin showed an antiangiogenic activity, the ID(50) value being 10μg (24.9nmol) per egg. These results indicate that nobiletin is a novel antiangiogenic compound that exhibits its activity through combined inhibition of multiple angiogenic EC functions.

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