Isoliquiritigenin induces apoptosis and inhibits xenograft tumor growth of human lung cancer cells by targeting both wild type and L858R/T790M mutant EGFR.
J Biol Chem. 2014 Dec 26 ;289(52):35839-48. Epub 2014 Nov 3. PMID: 25368326
Sung Keun Jung
Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is associated with diverse genetic alterations including mutation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Isoliquiritigenin (ILQ), a chalcone derivative, possesses anticancer activities. In the present study, we investigated the effects of ILQ on the growth of tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI)-sensitive and -resistant NSCLC cells and elucidated its underlying mechanisms. Treatment with ILQ inhibited growth and induced apoptosis in both TKI-sensitive and -resistant NSCLC cells. ILQ-induced apoptosis was associated with the cleavage of caspase-3 and poly-(ADP-ribose)-polymerase, increased expression of Bim, and reduced expression of Bcl-2. In vitro kinase assay results revealed that ILQ inhibited the catalytic activity of both wild type and double mutant (L858R/T790M) EGFR. Treatment with ILQ inhibited the anchorage-independent growth of NIH3T3 cells stably transfected with either wild type or double-mutant EGFR with or without EGF stimulation. ILQ also reduced the phosphorylation of Akt and ERK1/2 in both TKI-sensitive and -resistant NSCLC cells, and attenuated the kinase activity of Akt1 and ERK2 in vitro. ILQ directly interacted with both wild type and double-mutant EGFR in an ATP-competitive manner. A docking model study showed that ILQ formed two hydrogen bonds (Glu-762 and Met-793) with wild type EGFR and three hydrogen bonds (Lys-745, Met-793, and Asp-855) with mutant EGFR. ILQ attenuated the xenograft tumor growth of H1975 cells, which was associated with decreased expression of Ki-67 and diminished phosphorylation of Akt and ERK1/2. Taken together, ILQ suppresses NSCLC cell growth by directly targeting wild type or mutant EGFR.