Baicalein (BA), one of the major compounds isolated from the root of Scutellaria baicalensis Gerogi, exhibits various pharmacological effects, such as anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects. In this study, we found that BA reduced cell viability and increased apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells. Treatment of cells with BA enhanced microtubule-associated protein light chain 3-II (LC3-II) expression, acidic vesicular organelle and GFP-LC3 fluorescence dot accumulation. Combined treatment with chloroquine and BA apparently reduced cell viability and increased the cleavage of poly (ADPribose) polymerase (PARP) in both HEY and A2780 ovarian cancer cell lines, indicating that BA induces a protective autophagy in these cells. Knockdown of Beclin 1 by siRNA remarkably decreased BA-induced LC3-II lipidation. In addition, we found an increase in the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK, Thr202/Thr204) and AKT (Ser473) after BA treatment, and inhibition of ERK activation by the pharmacological inhibitor U0126 or ERK siRNA blocked BA-induced autophagy. Taken together, these results suggest that BA induces Beclin 1- and ERK-dependent autophagy in ovarian cancer cells.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Complementary and alternative medicine
- Ovarian Cancer