Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide, particularly in China. However, HCC remains one of the more difficult cancers to treat. It is important to screen for new anti-cancer drugs. A number of dietary compounds possess anti-cancer properties. These dietary compounds may modify the activity of specific targets that control cell proliferation and apoptosis. Galangin could inhibit the methoxyresorufin O-demethylase activity of CYP1A2, CYP1A1 and P-form phenolsulfotransferase. Galangin induced apoptosis in several cancer cell lines and arrested the cell cycle, modulated the expression of cycline/cdk, and decreased Bcl-2. It was suggested that galangin may be a potential anti-tumor agent. However, the mechanism by which galangin exerts its anti-tumor activity is unknown.
A research article to be published on July 21, 2010 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. This is the first study to report that galangin mediates apoptosis through a mitochondrial pathway.
Their data demonstrated that (1) galangin induces HCC cell apoptosis by triggering Bax translocation to the mitochondria; (2) galangin-treated HCC cells causes the release of AIF and cytochrome c into the cytosol from the mitochondria; and (3) overexpression of Bcl-2 attenuated galangin-induced HepG2 cells apoptosis, while down-regulated Bcl-2 expression enhanced galangin to induce cell apoptosis.
Understanding the mechanism by which galangin induces apoptosis may lead to its use as an anti-cancer treatment of HCC. This study may represent a future potential chemotherapeutic drug in the treatment of HCC with galangin.
Reference: Zhang HT, Luo H, Wu J, Lan LB, Fan DH, Zhu KD, Chen XY, Wen M, Liu HM. Galangin induces apoptosis of hepatocellular carcinoma cells via the mitochondrial pathway. World J Gastroenterol 2010; 16(27): 3377-3384
Correspondence to: Dr. Hai-Tao Zhang, Associate Professor, Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Guangdong Medical College, Zhanjiang 524023, Guangdong Province, China. [email protected]
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About World Journal of Gastroenterology
World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2009 IF: 2.092. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.
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