Quercetin is a bioactive compound with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer properties. This study exemplifies the differential cytotoxic activity of Quercetin on two human colonic cancer cell lines, HT29 and HCT15. IC50 of Quercetin for HT29 and HCT15 cells were 42.5 μM and 77.4 μM, respectively. Activation of caspase-3, increased level of cytosolic cytochrome c, decreased levels of pAkt, pGSK-3β and cyclin D1 in 40 μM Quercetin treated HT29 cells alone. Though, nuclear translocation of NFkB was increased in 40 μM Quercetin treated HT29 and HCT15 cells, over expression of COX-2 was observed in 40 μM Quercetin treated HT29 cells, whereas, Quercetin treated HCT15 cells did not expressed COX-2. Increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was observed only in Quercetin treated HT29 cells, which is due to over expression of COX-2, as COX-2 silencing inhibited Quercetin induced apoptosis and ROS generation. Insilico analysis provided evidence that Quercetin could partially inhibit COX-2 enzyme by binding to subunit A which has peroxidase activity and serves as source of ROS. However, Quercetin showed minimal effect on normal intestinal epithelial cells i,e IEC-6. To conclude, differential sensitivity of two cancer cells, HT29 and HCT15, to Quercetin depends on COX-2 dependent ROS generation that induces apoptosis and inhibits cell survival.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.