Cytotoxic action of methylquercetins in human lung adenocarcinoma cells
- Katrin Sak
- Helen Lust
- Marju Kase
- Jana Jaal
Published online on: November 21, 2017
Lung cancer is the malignant disorder associated with a high number of fatalities in women and men worldwide. Despite continuous improvements in diagnostic strategies and therapeutic modalities over the past decades, the prognosis and survival rate of patients suffering from lung cancer are still unsatisfactory and suggest the requirement for further molecular studies with different lung cancer models. In the present study, the anticancer action of two methylated metabolites of quercetin, isorhamnetin and tamarixetin, was assessed by studying their antiproliferative and apoptosis‑inducing potential in human lung adenocarcinoma cell lines, A549 and HCC‑44. Both methylquercetins decreased the viability of lung cancer cells at doses significantly lower than those effective for parent quercetin. The IC50 values measured for isorhamnetin were 26.6 and 15.9 µM in A549 and HCC‑44 cells, respectively. For tamarixetin, the IC50 values were 19.6 and 20.3 µM in A549 and HCC‑44 cells, respectively. These results were many‑fold lower than the respective values for quercetin (72.2 and 107.6 µM for A549 and HCC‑44 cells, respectively). Based on the activation of caspase family members, both metabolites induced apoptotic cell death in the tested cell lines, predominantly via the extrinsic pathway in A549 cells and in both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways in HCC‑44 cells. As A549 and HCC‑44 lines were originally established from a male and female patient, current data may suggst some gender differences in the action of quercetin derivatives. Addition of a methyl group in the 3'‑ or 4'‑position of the B‑ring of quercetin significantly increased the anticancer activity of this flavonol towards lung adenocarcinoma cells, which demonstrated that these compounds may be considered as potential novel candidates for the development of future chemotherapeutics in the fight against lung cancer.