Isoliquiritigenin induces apoptosis and inhibits xenograft tumor growth of human lung cancer cells by targeting both wild type and L858R/T790M mutant EGFR

Sung Keun Jung, Mee Hyun Lee, Do Young Lim, Jong Eun Kim, Puja Singh, Sung Young Lee, Chul Ho Jeong, Tae Gyu Lim, Hanyong Chen, Young In Chi, Joydeb Kumar Kundu, Nam Hyouck Lee, Charles C. Lee, Yong Yeon Cho, Ann M. Bode, Ki Won Lee, Zigang Dong

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65 Scopus citations


Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is associated with diverse genetic alterations including mutation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Isoliquiritigenin (ILQ), a chalcone derivative, possesses anticancer activities. In the present study, we investigated the effects of ILQ on the growth of tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI)-sensitive and -resistant NSCLC cells and elucidated its underlying mechanisms. Treatment with ILQ inhibited growth and induced apoptosis in both TKI-sensitive and -resistant NSCLC cells. ILQ-induced apoptosis was associated with the cleavage of caspase-3 and poly-(ADP-ribose)-polymerase, increased expression of Bim, and reduced expression of Bcl-2. In vitro kinase assay results revealed that ILQ inhibited the catalytic activity of both wild type and double mutant (L858R/T790M) EGFR. Treatment with ILQ inhibited the anchorage-independent growth of NIH3T3 cells stably transfected with either wild type or double-mutant EGFR with or without EGF stimulation. ILQ also reduced the phosphorylation of Akt and ERK1/2 in both TKI-sensitive and -resistant NSCLC cells, and attenuated the kinase activity of Akt1 and ERK2 in vitro. ILQ directly interacted with both wild type and doublemutant EGFR in an ATP-competitive manner. A docking model study showed that ILQ formed two hydrogen bonds (Glu-762 and Met-793) with wild type EGFR and three hydrogen bonds (Lys-745, Met-793, and Asp-855) with mutant EGFR. ILQ attenuated the xenograft tumor growth of H1975 cells, which was associated with decreased expression of Ki-67 and diminished phosphorylation of Akt and ERK1/2. Taken together, ILQ suppresses NSCLC cell growth by directly targeting wild type or mutant EGFR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberPMID: 25368326
Pages (from-to)35839-35848
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number52
StatePublished - Dec 26 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
* This work was supported by grants from National Institutes of Health CA1669011, CA172457, R37 CA081064, and ES016548, by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea govern-ment (MEST) (No. 2010–0029233), Republic of Korea, and by the Korea Food Research Institute, Republic of Korea. □S This article contains supplemental Fig. S1.

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