IMR Press / FBL / Volume 16 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.2741/3735

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Apigenin induces apoptosis and impairs head and neck carcinomas EGFR/ErbB2 signaling
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1 Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Rome, Sapienza, Rome, Italy
2 Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy
3 Department of Dental Sciences University of Rome, Sapienza, Rome, Italy
4 Department of Biology, University of Rome, Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
5 Department of Biological Chemistry, Medical Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
Academic Editor:Fabio Galvano
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2011, 16(3), 1060–1068; https://doi.org/10.2741/3735
Published: 1 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary approaches to prevent chronic-degenerative diseases)
Abstract

The development of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) is a multistep process progressing from precancerous lesions to highly malignant tumors. A critical role in HNSCCs development and progression is played by EGFR family members including EGFR and ErbB2. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of apigenin, a low molecular weight flavonoid contained in fruits and vegetables, on growth and survival and on EGFR/ErbB2 signaling in cell lines derived from HNSCCs of the tongue (CAL-27, SCC-15) or pharynx (FaDu). Using sulforhodamine B assay, FACS analysis and activated caspase-3 detection by immunofluorescence, we here demonstrate that apigenin dose-dependently inhibits survival and induces apoptosis of HNSCC cells. Further, by performing western blotting with antibodies specific for phosphorylated EGFR, ErbB2, Erk1/2 and Akt we demonstrate that apigenin reduces ligand-induced phosphorylation of EGFR and ErbB2 and impairs their downstream signaling. On the whole, our results suggest that apigenin properties might be exploited for chemoprevention and/or therapy of head and neck carcinomas.

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