Fisetin, a dietary flavonoid induces apoptosis via modulating the MAPK and PI3K/Akt signalling pathways in human osteosarcoma (U-2 OS) cells

  • Jian-Ming Li Department of Hip Traumatology, Luoyang Orthopedic-Traumato Logical Hospital, Luoyang 471 002
  • Wu-Yin Li Department of Hip Traumatology, Luoyang Orthopedic-Traumato Logical Hospital, Luoyang 471 002
  • Man-Yu Huang Department of Hip Traumatology, Luoyang Orthopedic-Traumato Logical Hospital, Luoyang 471 002
  • Xiao-Qiang Zhang Department of Orthopedics, Luoyang Orthopedic-Traumato Logical Hospital, Luoyang 471 002
Keywords: Apoptosis, Fisetin, MAPK signalling pathway, PI3K/Akt, Osteosarcoma


Human osteosarcoma is the most prevalent primary malignant bone tumor with high frequency of invasion and metastasis. Strong resistance coupled with toxicity of the currently available chemotherapeutic drugs poses challenge in treatment. The study aimed to investigate if fisetin, a dietary flavonoid induced apoptosis in human osteosarcoma (U-2 OS) cells. Fisetin at 20-100 µM effectively reduced the viability of OS cells, and induced apoptosis by significantly inducing the expression of caspases (Caspases- 3,-8 and -9) and pro-apoptotic proteins (Bax and Bad) with subsequent down-regulation of Bcl-xL and Bcl-2. While fisetin inhibited PI3K/Akt pathway and ERK1/2, it caused enhanced expressions of p-JNK, p-c-Jun and p-p38. Fisetin-induced ROS generation and decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential would have also contributed to rise in apoptotic cell counts. The observations suggest that fisetin was able to effectively induce apoptosis of U-2 OS cells through ROS generation and modulation of MAPK and PI3K/Akt signalling cascades.  


Download data is not yet available.
559 Read


Ahmad A, Biersack B, Li Y, Kong D, Bao B, Schobert R, Padhye SB, Sarkar FH. Targeted regulation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR/NF-kappaB signaling by indole compounds and their derivatives: Mechanistic details and biological implications for cancer therapy. Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2013; 13: 1002-13.

Anilkumar U, Prehn JH. Anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family proteins in acute neural injury. Front Cell Neurosci. 2014; 8: 281.

Avisetti DR, Babu KS, Kalivendi SV. Activation of p38/JNK pathway is responsible for embelin induced apoptosis in lung cancer cells: Transitional role of reactive oxygen species. PLoS One 2014; 9: e87050

Chen YC, Shen SC, Lee WR, Lin HY, Ko CH, Shih CM, Yang LL. Wogonin and fisetin induction of apoptosis through activation of caspase 3 cascade and alternative expression of p21 protein in hepatocellular carcinoma cells SK-HEP-1. Arch Toxicol. 2002; 76: 351-59.

Chen Y, McMillan-Ward E, Kong J, Israels SJ, Gibson SB. Mitochondrial electron-transport chain inhibitors of complexes I and II induce autophagic cell death mediated by reactive oxygen species. J Cell Sci. 2007; 120: 4155-66.

Chen YC, Chang CN, Hsu HC, Chiou SJ, Lee LT, Hseu TH. Sennoside B inhibits PDGF receptor signaling and cell proliferation induced by PDGF-BB in human osteosarcoma cells. Life Sci. 2009; 84: 915-22.

Chou AJ, Gorlick R. Chemotherapy resistance in osteosarcoma: Current challenges and future directions. Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2006; 6: 1075-85.

Chou RH, Hsieh SC, Yu YL, Huang MH, Huang YC, Hsieh YH. Fisetin inhibits migration and invasion of human cervical cancer cells by down-regulating urokinase plasminogen activator expression through suppressing the p38 MAPK-dependent NF-?B signaling pathway. PLoS ONE. 2013; 8: e71983.

Davis RJ. Signal transduction by the JNK group of MAP kinases. Cell 2000; 103: 239-52.

Fruehauf JP, Meyskens FL Jr. Reactive oxygen species: A breath of life or death? Clin Cancer Res. 2007; 13: 789-94.

Genestra M. Oxyl radicals, redox-sensitive signalling cascades and antioxidants. Cell Signal 2007; 19: 1807-19.

Gottlieb E, Vander Heiden MG, Thompson CB. Bcl-xL prevents the initial decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential and subsequent reactive oxygen species production during tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced apoptosis. Mol Cell Biol. 2000; 20: 5680-89.

Gross A, McDonnell JM, Korsmeyer SJ. BCL-2 family members and the mitochondria in apoptosis. Genes Develop. 1999; 13: 1899-911.

Guijarro MV, Ghivizzani SC, Gibbs CP. Animal models in osteosarcoma. Front Oncol. 2014; 4: 189.

Gyrd-Hansen M, Meier P. IAPs: From caspase inhibitors to modulators of NF-kappaB inflammation and cancer. Nature Rev Cancer. 2010; 10: 561-74.

Haddad AQ, Venkateswaran V, Viswanathan L, Teahan SJ, Fleshner NE, Klotz LH. Novel antiproliferative flavonoids induce cell cycle arrest in human prostate cancer cell lines. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2006; 9: 68-76.

Han J, Goldstein LA, Gastman BR, Rabinowich H. Interrelated roles for Mcl-1 and BIM in regulation of TRAIL-mediated mitochondrial apoptosis. J Biol Chem. 2006; 281: 10153-63.

Hartojo W, Silvers AL, Thomas DG, Seder CW, Lin L, Rao H, Wang Z, Greenson JK, Giordano TJ, Orringer MB, Rehemtulla A, Bhojani MS, Beer DG, Chang AC. Curcumin promotes apoptosis, increases chemosensitivity, and inhibits nuclear factor kappaB in esophageal adenocarcinoma. Transl Oncol. 2010; 3: 99-108.

Heath-Engel HM, Chang NC, Shore GC. The endoplasmic reticulum in apoptosis and autophagy: Role of the BCL-2 protein family. Oncogene 2008; 27: 6419-33.

Hunter AM, LaCasse EC, Korneluk RG. The inhibitors of apoptosis (IAPs) as cancer targets. Apoptosis 2007; 12: 1543-68.

Huttemann M, Pecina P, Rainbolt M, Sanderson TH, Kagan VE, Samavati L, Doan JW, Lee I. The multiple functions of cytochrome c and their regulation in life and death decisions of the mammalian cell: From respiration to apoptosis. Mitochondrion 2011; 11: 369-81.

Ishikawa Y, Kitamura M. Dual potential of extracellular signal-regulated kinase for the control of cell survival. Biochem Biophy Res Commun. 1999; 264: 696-701.

Johnson GL, Lapadat R. Mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways mediated by ERK, JNK, and p38 protein kinases. Science 2002; 298: 1911-12.

Kager L, Zoubek A, Potschger U, Kastner U, Flege S, Kempf?Bielack B, Branscheid D, Kotz R, Salzer-Kuntschik M, Winkelmann W, Jundt G, Kabisch H, Reichardt P, Jurgens H, Gadner H, Bielack SS. Primary metastatic osteosarcoma: Presentation and outcome of patients treated on neoadjuvant Cooperative Osteosarcoma Study Group protocols. J Clin Oncol. 2003; 21: 2011-18.

Kim BM, Chung HW. Desferrioxamine (DFX) induces apoptosis through the p38-caspase8- Bid-Bax pathway in PHA stimulated human lymphocytes. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2008; 228: 24-31.

Kim SJ, Choi JA, Lee SH, Choi JY, Hong SH, Chung HW and Kang HS. Imaging findings of extrapulmonary metastases of osteosarcoma. Clin Imaging. 2004; 28: 291-300.

Kim HJ, Kim SH, Yun J-M. Fisetin inhibits hyperglycemia-induced proinflammatory cytokine production by epigenetic mechanisms. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012: 639469

Klaunig JE, Kamendulis LM, Hocevar BA. Oxidative stress and oxidative damage in carcinogenesis. Toxicologic Pathol. 2010; 38: 96-109.

Kroemer G, Galluzzi L, Brenner C. Mitochondrial membrane permeabilization in cell death. Physiol Rev. 2007; 87: 99-163.

Lee WR, Shen SC, Lin HY, Hou WC, Yang LL, Chen YC. Wogonin and fisetin induce apoptosis in human promyeloleukemic cells, accompanied by a decrease of reactive oxygen species, and activation of caspase 3 and Ca2+-dependent endonuclease. Biochem Pharmacol. 2002; 63: 225-36.

Lee HY, Jeon HS, Song EK, Han MK, Park SI, Lee SI, Yun HJ, Kim JR, Kim JS, Lee YC, Kim SI, Kim HR, Choi JY, Kang I, Kim HY, Yoo WH. CD40 ligation of rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts regulates RANKL-mediated osteoclastogenesis: Evidence of NF-kappaB-dependent, CD40-mediated bone destruction in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2006; 54: 1747-58.

Lee JC, Son YO, Pratheeshkumar P, Shi X. Oxidative stress and metal carcinogenesis. Free Radic Biol Med. 2012; 53: 742-57.

Lewis TS, Shapiro PS, Ahn NG. Signal transduction through MAP kinase cascades. Adv Cancer Res. 1998; 74: 49-139.

Li J, Zhang F, Wang S. A polysaccharide from pomegranate peels induces the apoptosis of human osteosarcoma cells via the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. Tumour Biol. 2014; 35: 7475-82.

Li HY, Zhang J Sun LL, Li BH, Gao HL, Xie T, Zhang N, Ye ZM. Celastrol induces apoptosis and autophagy via the ROS/JNK signaling pathway in human osteosarcomacells: An in vitro and in vivo study. Cell Death Dis. 2015; 6: e1604

Lin CC, Kuo CL, Lee MH, Lai KC, Lin JP, Yang JS, Yu CS, Lu CC, Chiang JH, Chueh FS, Chung JG. Wogonin triggers apoptosis in human osteosarcoma U-2 OS cells through the endoplasmic reticulum stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and caspase-3-dependent signalling pathways. Int J Oncol. 2011; 39: 217-24.

Lu X, Jung J, Cho HJ, Lim DY, Lee HS, Chun HS, Kwon DY, Park JH. Fisetin inhibits the activities of cyclin-dependent kinases leading to cell cycle arrest in HT-29 human colon cancer cells. J Nutr. 2005b; 135: 2884-90.

Luetke A, Meyers PA, Lewis I, Juergens H. Osteosarcoma treatment: Where do we stand? A state of the art review. Cancer Treat Rev. 2014; 40: 523-32.

Nielsen-Preiss SM, Silva SR, Gillette JM. Role of PTEN and Akt in the regulation of growth and apoptosis in human osteoblastic cells. J Cell Biochem. 2003; 90: 964-75.

Noh K, Kim KO, Patel NR, Staples JR, Minematsu H, Nair K, Lee FY. Targeting inflammatory kinase as an adjuvant treatment for osteosarcomas. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2011; 93: 723-32.

Obata T, Brown GE, Yaffe MB. MAP kinase pathways activated by stress: the p38 MAPK pathway. Crit Care Med. 2000; 28: N67-N77.

Park WH. MAPK inhibitors differentially affect gallic acid induced human pulmonary fibroblast cell growth inhibition. Mol Med Report. 2011; 4: 193-204.

Pelicano H, Carney D, Huang P. ROS stress in cancer cells and therapeutic implications. Drug Resist Update. 2004; 7: 97-110.

Porta C, Paglino C, Mosca A. Targeting PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling in cancer. Front Oncol. 2014; 4: 64.

Qi F, Li A, Zhao L, Xu H, Inagaki Y, Wang D, Cui X, Gao B, Kokudo N, Nakata M, Tang W. Cinobufacini, an aqueous extract from Bufo bufo gargarizans Cantor, induces apoptosis through a mitochondria-mediated pathway in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010; 128: 654-61.

Raza H, John A, Benedict S. Acetylsalicylic acid-induced oxidative stress, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and mitochondrial dysfunction in human hepatoma HepG2 cells. Eur J Pharmacol. 2011; 668: 15-24.

Seki E, Brenner DA, Karin M. A liver full of JNK: Signalling in regulation of cell function and disease pathogenesis, and clinical approaches. Gastroenterology 2012; 143: 307-20

Shen HM, Liu ZG. JNK signaling pathway is a key modulator in cell death mediated by reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. Free Radical Biol Med. 2006; 40: 928-39.

Simon HU, Haj-Yehia A, Levi-Schaffer F. Role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in apoptosis induction. Apoptosis 2000; 5: 415-18.

Tournier C, Hess P, Yang DD, Xu J, Turner TK, Nimnual A, Bar-Sagi D, Jones SN, Flavell RA, Davis RJ. Requirement of JNK for stress-induced activation of the cytochrome c-mediated death pathway. Science 2000; 288: 870-74.

Trachootham D, Alexandre J, Huang P. Targeting cancer cells by ROS-mediated mechanisms: A radical therapeutic approach? Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2009; 8: 579-91.

vanLoo G, Saelens X, van Gurp M, MacFarlane M, Martin SJ, Vandenabeele P. The role of mitochondrial factors in apoptosis: A Russian roulette with more than one bullet. Cell Death Differ. 2002; 9: 1031-42.

Wagner EF, Nebreda AR. Signal integration by JNK and p38 MAPK pathways in cancer development. Nat Rev Cancer 2009; 9: 537-49.

Wang X, Martindale JL, Liu Y, Holbrook NJ. The cellular response to oxidative stress: Influences of mitogen-activated protein kinase signalling pathways on cell survival. Biochem J. 1998; 333: 291-300.

White C, Li C, Yang J, Petrenko NB, Madesh M, Thompson CB, Foskett JK. The endoplasmic reticulum gateway to apoptosis by Bcl-XL modulation of the InsP3R. Nat Cell Biol. 2005; 7: 1021-28.

You BR, Park WH. The effects of mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitors or small interfering RNAs on gallic acid induced HeLa cell death in relation to reactive oxygen species and glutathione. J Agric Food Chem. 2011; 59: 763-71.

Yuan TL, Cantley LC. PI3K pathway alterations in cancer: Variations on a theme. Oncogene 2008; 27: 5497-510.

Zhang L, Yu J, Park BH, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B. Role of BAX in the apoptotic response to anticancer agents. Science 2000; 290: 989-92.

Zhang C, Yang L, Wang XB, Wang JS, Geng YD, Yang CS, Kong LY. Calyxin Y induces hydrogen peroxide-dependent autophagy and apoptosis via JNK activation in human non-small cell lung cancer NCI-H460 cells. Cancer Lett. 2013; 340: 51-62.

Zhang J, Yu XH, Yan YG, Wang C, Wang WJ. PI3K/Akt signaling in osteosarcoma. Clin Chim Acta. 2015; 444: 182-92.

Zhao X, Ma S, Liu N, Liu J, Wang W. A polysaccharide from Trametes robiniophila inhibits human osteosarcoma xenograft tumor growth in vivo. Carbohydrate Polymers. 2015; 124: 157-63.

How to Cite
Li, J.-M., W.-Y. Li, M.-Y. Huang, and X.-Q. Zhang. “Fisetin, a Dietary Flavonoid Induces Apoptosis via Modulating the MAPK and PI3K/Akt Signalling Pathways in Human Osteosarcoma (U-2 OS) Cells”. Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology, Vol. 10, no. 4, Oct. 2015, pp. 820-9, doi:10.3329/bjp.v10i4.23039.
Research Articles