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In a study, researchers from Qingdao University‘s School of Basic Medicine revealed that baicalein, a flavonoid present in Scutellaria spp., can potentially be used in cancer therapy. The results of their study were published in The American Journal for Chinese Medicine.

  • Baicalein is a natural flavonoid that has exhibited anti-cancer activity.
  • However, the molecular mechanism for this anti-cancer activity is still unclear.
  • In their report, the team looked at whether baicalein triggers autophagy and induces AMPK activation in U251 cells.
  • Using an Ad-mcherry-GFP-LC3B experiment, the team found that baicalein induces glioma cell autophagy.
  • LC3II expression levels increased with the time and concentration of baicalein.
  • Enhanced LC3 immunofluorescence after chloroquine treatment also confirmed this result.
  • Baicalein also induced autophagy, based on cleaved caspase-3, DAPI staining and JC-1 staining.
  • Baicalein also activated phosphorylation of AMPK, which they confirmed using compound C in this process. If phosphorylation of AMPK was inhibited, autophagy and apoptosis were also inhibited.

In sum, baicalein induced autophagy and apoptosis through the AMPK pathway.

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Journal Reference:

Liu B, Ding L, Zhang L, Wang S, Wang Y, Wang B, et al. BAICALEIN INDUCES AUTOPHAGY AND APOPTOSIS THROUGH AMPK PATHWAY IN HUMAN GLIOMA CELLS. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2019; 47(6): 1405-1418. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X19500721

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