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Methylated chrysin induces co-ordinated attenuation of the canonical Wnt and NF-kB signaling pathway and upregulates apoptotic gene expression in the early hepatocarcinogenesis rat model

Chemico-Biological Interactions
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.cbi.2011.04.007
  • Preneoplastic Nodules
  • Wnt Pathway
  • Nf-Kb Pathway
  • Apoptosis
  • Methylated Flavone
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a highly aggressive form of solid tumor, has been increasing in South East Asia. The lack of effective therapy necessitates the introduction of novel chemopreventive strategies to counter the substantial morbidity and mortality associated with the disease. Recently, we reported that dimethoxy flavone (DMF), a methylated flavone derived from chrysin, significantly suppressed the development of preneoplastic lesions induced by N-nitrosodiethylamine (DEN) in rats, although the mechanism of action was not known. In the present study, we have investigated the effects of DMF administration on gene expression changes related to the inflammation-mediated NF-kB pathway, Wnt pathway and apoptotic mediators in DEN-induced preneoplastic nodules. There was a significant increase in inflammatory markers like cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and a decrease in apoptotic mediators like p53, caspase-3 and bax in DEN-treated rats when compared to the control group. Activation of NF-kB was noticed by an elevated expression of nuclear protein expression of NF-kB and cytoplasmic phospho-IkBαSer32/36 in the same animals. Likewise, upregulation of canonical Wnt pathway was noticed by elevated expression of nuclear protein levels of phospho-β-cateninThr393 and cytoplasmic casein kinase-2 (CK2), Dvl2 and cyclin D1 levels, along with a simultaneous decrease in expression of phospho-GSK3βSer9. Dietary DMF (100mg/kg) administration inhibited liver nodule incidence and multiplicity by 82% and 78%, respectively. DMF also reversed the activation of NF-kB and Wnt pathway as shown by the decrease in protein expression of several proteins. Results of the present investigation provide evidence that attenuation of Wnt pathway and suppression of inflammatory response mediated by NF-kB could be implicated, in part, in the chemopreventive effects of methylated flavone. Therefore, the present findings hold great promise for the utilization of DMF as an effective chemotherapeutic agent in treating early stages of liver cancer.

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