Formononetin promotes cell cycle arrest via downregulation of Akt/Cyclin D1/CDK4 in human prostate cancer cells.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2014 ;34(4):1351-8. Epub 2014 Oct 2. PMID: 25301361
BACKGROUND: Formononetin is an O-methylated isoflavone isolated from the root of Astragalus membranaceus. It has already been reported that formononetin could inhibit cell proliferation and induce cell apoptosis in several cancers, including prostate cancer. This study aimed to further investigate whether cell cycle arrest is involved in formononetin-mediated antitumor effect in human prostate cancer cells, along with the underlying molecular mechanism.
METHODS: Human prostate cancer cells PC-3 and DU145 were respectively treated with various concentrations of formononetin. The inhibitory effect of formononetin on proliferation of prostate cancer cells was determined using MTT assays and flow cytometry. Next, formononetin-induced alterations in cyclin D1, CDK4 and Akt expression in PC-3 cells were detected by real-time PCR and western blot.
RESULTS: Formononetin dose-dependently inhibited prostate cancer cell proliferation via the induction of cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase in vitro, which was more evident in PC-3 cells. Meanwhile, concomitant with reduced phosphorylation of Akt in PC-3 cells, formononetin remarkably downregulated expression levels of cyclin D1 and CDK4 in a dose-dependent manner. More interestingly, in the in vivo studies, formononetin showed a noticeable inhibition of tumor growth in recipient mice.
CONCLUSION: Formononetin could exhibit inhibitory activity against human prostate cancer cells in vivo and in vitro, which is associated with G1 cell cycle arrest by inactivation of Akt/cyclin D1/CDK4. Therefore, formononetin may be used as a candidate agent for clinical treatment of prostate cancer in the future.