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Oncol Lett. 2011 Jan;2(1):123-128. Epub 2010 Nov 10.

Nordihydroguaiaretic acid inhibits growth of cervical cancer SiHa cells by up-regulating p21.

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Department of Pathology and Pathophysiology, School of Medical Science, Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210009, P.R. China.


Nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) and its derivatives possess anti-cancer effects on various types of cancer via the induction of apoptosis or cell cycle arrest. This study proved that NDGA inhibited cervical cancer SiHa cell growth and induced cell cycle arrest at the G(1) phase, which may be a consequence of cell cycle kinase inhibitor p21 induction. NDGA promoted acetylation of histone H3 in total and p21 gene-associated chromatin. This effect is gene selective, since NDGA has no impact on the p27 gene. NDGA also inhibited HPV-16 E6 gene transcription, which in turn resulted in the restoration of p53 protein levels. The silencing mediator for retinoid and thyroid hormone receptors (SMRT) is a key component of the HDAC3-HDAC4-N-CoR/SMRT complex. We found that NDGA significantly inhibited the transcription of SMRT, which, together with p53, may aid in the detection of the increase of histone H3 acetylation within the p21 gene. Our results suggest that NDGA induces p21 transcription by selectively elevating histone H3 acetylation associated with p21 gene and p53 protein levels via the inhibition of HPV-16 E6 expression.

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