Next Article in Journal
Tissue-Based MicroRNAs as Predictors of Biochemical Recurrence after Radical Prostatectomy: What Can We Learn from Past Studies?
Next Article in Special Issue
Autophagy Roles in the Modulation of DNA Repair Pathways
Previous Article in Journal
A Comprehensive Survey of the Roles of Highly Disordered Proteins in Type 2 Diabetes
Previous Article in Special Issue
Autophagy and Inflammatory Response in the Tumor Microenvironment
Article Menu
Issue 10 (October) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Isoliquiritigenin Induces Autophagy and Inhibits Ovarian Cancer Cell Growth

School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, College of Nutrition, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11031, Taiwan
PhD Program for Cancer Biology and Drug Discovery, College of Medical Science and Technology, Taipei Medical University and Academia Sinica, Taipei 11031, Taiwan
Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Health Care, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
Department of Human Development and Family Studies, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
Graduate Institute of Metabolism and Obesity Sciences, College of Nutrition, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11031, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2025;
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autophagy at the Intersection of the Immune System and Cancer)
PDF [3298 KB, uploaded 21 September 2017]


Ovarian cancer is one of the commonest gynecologic malignancies, which has a poor prognosis for patients at the advanced stage. Isoliquiritigenin (ISL), an active flavonoid component of the licorice plant, previously demonstrated antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and tumor suppressive effects. In this study, we investigated the antitumor effect of ISL on human ovarian cancer in vitro using the human ovarian cancer cell lines, OVCAR5 and ES-2, as model systems. Our results show that ISL significantly inhibited the viability of cancer cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Flow cytometry analysis indicated that ISL induced G2/M phase arrest. Furthermore, the expression of cleaved PARP, cleaved caspase-3, Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, LC3B-II, and Beclin-1 levels were increased in western blot analysis. To clarify the role of autophagy and apoptosis in the effect of ISL, we used the autophagy inhibitor—3-methyladenine (3-MA) to attenuate the punctate fluorescence staining pattern of the p62/sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1, red fluorescence) and LC3 (green fluorescence) proteins after ISL treatment, and 3-MA inhibited the cytotoxicity of ISL. These findings provide new information about the link between ISL-induced autophagy and apoptosis and suggest that ISL is a candidate agent for the treatment of human ovarian cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: apoptosis; autophagy; isoliquiritigenin; ovarian cancer apoptosis; autophagy; isoliquiritigenin; ovarian cancer

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, H.-Y.; Huang, T.-C.; Shieh, T.-M.; Wu, C.-H.; Lin, L.-C.; Hsia, S.-M. Isoliquiritigenin Induces Autophagy and Inhibits Ovarian Cancer Cell Growth. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2025.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top