Coumestrol suppresses proliferation of ES2 human epithelial ovarian cancer cells

Whasun Lim, Wooyoung Jeong, Gwonhwa Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Coumestrol, which is predominantly found in soybean products as a phytoestrogen, has cancer preventive activities in estrogen-responsive carcinomas. However, effects and molecular targets of coumestrol have not been reported for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). In the present study, we demonstrated that coumestrol inhibited viability and invasion and induced apoptosis of ES2 (clear cell-/serous carcinoma origin) cells. In addition, immunoreactive PCNA and ERBB2, markers of proliferation of ovarian carcinoma, were attenuated in their expression in coumestrol-induced death of ES2 cells. Phosphorylation of AKT, p70S6K, ERK1/2, JNK1/2, and p90RSK was inactivated by coumestrol treatment in a dose- and timedependent manner as determined in western blot analyses. Moreover, PI3K inhibitors enhanced effects of coumestrol to decrease phosphorylation of AKT, p70S6K, S6, and ERK1/2. Furthermore, coumestrol has strong cancer preventive effects as compared to other conventional chemotherapeutics on proliferation of ES2 cells. In conclusion, coumestrol exerts chemotherapeutic effects via PI3K and ERK1/2 MAPK pathways and is a potentially novel treatment regimen with enhanced chemoprevention activities against progression of EOC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-160
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Clear cell carcinoma
  • Coumestrol
  • Ovary
  • Reproduction
  • Reproductive tract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Coumestrol suppresses proliferation of ES2 human epithelial ovarian cancer cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this