Houttuynia cordata Thunb Promotes Activation of HIF-1A-FOXO3 and MEF2A Pathways to Induce Apoptosis in Human HepG2 Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells

Jung Min Kim, In Hu Hwang, Ik Soon Jang, Min Kim, In Seok Bang, Soo Jung Park, Yun Jo Chung, Jong Cheon Joo, Min-Goo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Houttuynia cordata Thunb (H cordata), a medicinal plant, has anticancer activity, as it inhibits cell growth and induces cell apoptosis in cancer. However, the potential anti-cancer activity and mechanism of H cordata for human liver cancer cells is not well understood. Recently, we identified hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1A, Forkhead box (FOX)O3, and MEF2A as proapoptotic factors induced by H cordata, suggesting that HIF-1A, FOXO3, and MEF2A contribute to the apoptosis of HepG2 hepatocellular carcinoma cells. FOXO3 transcription factors regulate target genes involved in apoptosis. H cordata significantly increased the mRNA and protein expression of HIF-1A and FOXO3 and stimulated MEF2A expression in addition to increased apoptosis in HepG2 cells within 24 hours. Therefore, we determined the potential role of FOXO3 on apoptosis and on H cordata-induced MEF2A in HepG2 cells. HIF-1A silencing by siRNA attenuated MEF2A and H cordata-mediated FOXO3 upregulation in HepG2 cells. Furthermore, H cordata-mediated MEF2A expression enhanced caspase-3 and caspase-7, which were abolished on silencing FOXO3 with siRNA. In addition, H cordata inhibited growth of human hepatocellular carcinoma xenografts in nude mice. Taken together, our results demonstrate that H cordata enhances HIF-1A/FOXO3 signaling, leading to MEF2A upregulation in HepG2 cells, and in parallel, it disturbs the expression of Bcl-2 family proteins (Bax, Bcl-2, and Bcl-xL), which results in apoptosis. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that H cordata promotes the activation of HIF-1A-FOXO3 and MEF2A pathways to induce apoptosis in human HepG2 hepatocellular carcinoma cells and is, therefore, a promising candidate for antitumor drug development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-372
Number of pages13
JournalIntegrative Cancer Therapies
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sep 1

Keywords

  • apoptosis
  • FOXO3
  • HepG2
  • HIF-1A
  • Houttuynia cordata
  • MEF2A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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