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J Korean Med Sci. 2013 Apr;28(4):527-33. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2013.28.4.527. Epub 2013 Mar 27.

The synergistic apoptotic interaction of Indole-3-Carbinol and Genistein with TRAIL on endometrial cancer cells.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Keimyung University, School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.


Induction of apoptosis in target cells is a key mechanism by which chemotherapy promotes cell killing. The purpose of this study was to determine whether Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) and Genistein in combination with tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) induce apoptosis in endometrial cancer cell (Ishikawa) and to assess apoptotic mechanism. The MTT assay and flow cytometry were performed to determine cell viability and cell cycle. The induction of apoptosis was measured by caspase-3 activity test, DNA fragmentation assay, annexin V binding assay and western blot analysis. There was no effect in cell growth inhibition and cell cycle progression alone or in two-combination. However, the treatment of I3C and Genistein followed by TRAIL showed significant cell death and marked increase in sub-G1 arrest. Three-combination treatment revealed elevated expression of DR4, DR5 and cleaved forms of caspase-3, caspase-8, PARP. The Flip was found down regulated. Moreover, increase in caspase-3 activity and DNA fragmentation indicated the induction of apoptosis. The results indicate that I3C and Genistein with TRAIL synergistically induced apoptosis via death receptor dependent pathway. Our findings might provide a new insight into the development of novel combination therapies against endometrial cancer.


Apoptosis; Endometrial Neoplasms; Genistein; Indole-3-Carbinol; TRAIL

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