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Genistein potentiates the antitumor effect of 5-Fluorouracil by inducing apoptosis and autophagy in human pancreatic cancer cells.

ABSTRACT: Although 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-based combination chemotherapy (i.e. FOLFIRINOX) has demonstrated effectiveness against pancreatic cancer, novel therapeutic strategies must be developed to increase the therapeutic window of these cytotoxic agents. Genistein is a soy-derived isoflavone with pleiotropic biological effects that can enhance the antitumor effect of chemotherapeutic agents.To understand how genistein potentiates the antitumor effects of 5-FU, we examined apoptosis and autophagy in MIA PaCa-2 human pancreatic cancer cells and their derived xenografts. Apoptosis was evaluated using DNA fragmentation assays, and western blots of poly(ADP ribose)polymerase and caspase-3. Meanwhile, autophagy was evaluated using western blots of microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3)-I/II, fluorescent microscopy observation of green fluorescent protein-LC3B puncta formation, and acidic vesicular organelle formation using acridine orange staining. Tumors from animal treatment studies were examined for apoptosis and autophagy using the TdT-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling assay and immunohistochemical staining of LC3B, respectively.We observed that genistein increased 5-FU-induced cell death through increased apoptosis, as well as autophagy. The increased autophagy was accompanied by decreased B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl2) and increased beclin-1 protein levels. Animal treatment studies supported these observations. The combination of 5-FU and genistein significantly reduced final xenograft tumor volume when compared to 5-FU-alone by inducing apoptosis as well as autophagy.Genistein can potentiate the antitumor effect of 5-FU by inducing apoptotic as well as autophagic cell death. These results demonstrate the potential of genistein as an adjuvant therapeutic agent against pancreatic cancer.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4240628 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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