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Nutr Cancer. 2015;67(2):238-49. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2015.989372. Epub 2015 Jan 14.

Signaling proteins and pathways affected by flavonoids in leukemia cells.

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a Department of Hematology and Oncology , First Hospital, Jilin University , Changchun , China.


Flavonoids are a class of plant secondary metabolites that are found ubiquitously in plants and in the human diet. Our objective is to investigate the antiproliferative effects of flavonoids (baicalein, luteolin, genistein, apigenin, scutellarin, galangin, chrysin, and naringenin) toward leukemia cells (HL-60, NB4, U937, K562, Jurkat) as well as the relationship between their antileukemic potencies and molecular structures. At the proteomic level, we evaluate the effects of different flavonoids on the expression levels of various proteins using Protein Pathway Array (PPA) technology. Our results showed a dose-dependent cytotoxicity of flavonoids toward various types of leukemia cells. The results of PPA illustrated that flavonoids, such as baicalein, genistein, and scutellarin affected different proteins in different leukemia cell lines. Cell cycle regulatory proteins, such as CDK4, CDK6, Cyclin D1, Cyclin B1, p-CDC2, and p-RB were affected in different leukemia cells. Furthermore, we found that baicalein suppresses CDK4 and activates p-ERK in most leukemia cells; genistein mainly affects CDK4, p-ERK, p-CDC2, while scutellarin dysregulated the proteins, cell division control protein 42, Notch4, and XIAP. Collectively, a wide variety of dysregulation of key signaling proteins related to apoptosis and cell-cycle regulation contributes to the antileukemic properties of these flavonoids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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