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Sci Rep. 2017 Oct 10;7(1):12920. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-13505-x.

Eugenol inhibits oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acid oxidation via downregulation of c-Myc/PGC-1β/ERRα signaling pathway in MCF10A-ras cells.

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College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.
The School Outpatient Department, the First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.
Bio-engineering institute of Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.
College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.


Alteration in cellular energy metabolism plays a critical role in the development and progression of cancer. Targeting metabolic pathways for cancer treatment has been investigated as potential preventive or therapeutic methods. Eugenol (Eu), a major volatile constituent of clove essential oil mainly obtained from Syzygium, has been reported as a potential chemopreventive drug. However, the mechanism by which Eu regulates cellular energy metabolism is still not well defined. This study was designed to determine the effect of Eu on cellular energy metabolism during early cancer progression employing untransformed and H-ras oncogene transfected MCF10A human breast epithelial cells. Eu showed dose-dependent selective cytotoxicity toward MCF10A-ras cells but exhibited no apparent cytotoxicity in MCF10A cells. Treatment with Eu also significantly reduced intracellular ATP levels in MCF10A-ras cells but not in MCF10A cells. This effect was mediated mainly through inhibiting oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexs and the expression of fatty acid oxidation (FAO) proteins including PPARα, MCAD and CPT1C by downregulating c-Myc/PGC-1β/ERRα pathway and decreasing oxidative stress in MCF10A-ras cells. These results indicate a novel mechanism involving the regulation of cellular energy metabolism by which Eu may prevent breast cancer progression.

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