New approach for treatment of primary liver tumors: The role of quercetin.
Nutr Cancer. 2016 Mar 4:1-17. Epub 2016 Mar 4. PMID: 26943884
Ana Filipa Brito
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver tumor (PLT), with cholangiocarcinoma (CC) being the second most frequent. Glucose transporter 1 (GLUT-1) expression is increased in PLTs and therefore it is suggested as a therapeutic target. Flavonoids, like quercetin, are GLUT-1 competitive inhibitors and may be considered as potential therapeutic agents for PLTs. The objective of this study was evaluation of quercetin anticancer activity in three human HCC cell lines (HepG2, HuH7, and Hep3B2.1-7) and in a human CC cell line (TFK-1). The possible synergistic effect between quercetin and sorafenib, a nonspecific multikinase inhibitor used in clinical practice in patients with advanced HCC, was also evaluated. It was found that in all the cell lines, quercetin induced inhibition of the metabolic activity and cell death by apoptosis, followed by increase in BAX/BCL-2 ratio. Treatment with quercetin caused DNA damage in HepG2, Hep3B2.1-7, and TFK-1 cell lines. The effect of quercetin appears to be independent of P53. Incubation with quercetin induced an increase in GLUT-1 membrane expression and a consequent reduction in the cytoplasmic fraction, observed as a decrease in (18)F-FDG uptake, indicating a GLUT-1 competitive inhibition. The occurrence of synergy when sorafenib and quercetin were added simultaneously to HCC cell lines was noticed. Thus, the use of quercetin seems to be a promising approach for PLTs through GLUT-1 competitive inhibition.