Plant flavonoid inhibits growth of colon cancer cells
23 January 2012
Luteolin, a compound commonly found in fruit and vegetables,
has been found to block cell processes important for the growth of colon
New research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal
BMC Gastroenterology shows that the plant flavonoid
luteolin is able to inhibit the activity of the cell signalling
pathways (IGF and PI3K) which promote growth of colon cancer cells.
Luteolin has been shown in laboratory conditions to also have
anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties, but
results from epidemiological studies have been less certain.
Colon cancer is the second most frequent cause of cancer-related
death in the Western World. Colon cancer cells have elevated levels
of IGF-II compared to normal colon tissues. It is thought that this
is part of the mechanism driving uncontrolled cell division and
cancer growth. Researchers from Korea showed that luteolin was able
to block the secretion of IGF-II by colon cancer cells and within
two hours decreased the amount of receptor (IGF-IR) precursor
protein. Luteolin also reduced the amount of active receptor
(measured by IGF-I dependent phosphorylation).
inhibited the growth stimulatory effect of IGF-I and the team led by
Prof Jung Han Yoon Park found that luteolin affected cell signalling
pathways which are activated by IGF-I in cancer. Prof Jung Han
Yoon Park explained, “Luteolin reduced IGF-I-dependent activation of
the cell signaling pathways PI3K, Akt, and ERK1/2 and CDC25c.
Blocking these pathways stops cancer cells from dividing and leads
to cell death.”
Prof Jung Park continued, “Our study, showing
that luteolin interferes with cell signalling in colon cancer cells,
is a step forward in understanding how this flavonoid works. A
fuller understanding of the in vivo results is essential to
determine how it might be developed into an effective