Genistein and daidzein induce apoptosis of colon cancer cells by inhibiting the accumulation of lipid droplets

  • Yu-Si Liang
  • Wen-Tao Qi
  • Weiqun Guo
  • Chun-Ling Wang
  • Ze-Bin Hu
  • Ai-Ke Li
Keywords: genistein, daidzein, lipid droplets, apoptosis, colon cancer


Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible mechanisms of genistein (GEN) and daidzein (DAI) in inducing apoptosis of colon cancer cells by inhibition of lipid droplets (LDs) accumulation.

Methods: HT-29 cells were used and treated by GEN or DAI in this paper. LDs accumulation was induced and inhibited by oleic acid (OA) and C75, respectively. The expression changes of LDs-related markers were confirmed by semiquantitative real time-PCR (RT–PCR), Western blotting, and immunofluorescence staining.

Results: GEN and DAI effectively reduced the LDs accumulation and downregulated the expression of Perilipin- 1, ADRP and Tip-47 family proteins and vimentin levels. GEN and DAI significantly induced the mRNA expression of PPAR-γ, Fas, FABP, glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT3), and microsomal TG transfer protein (MTTP), and reduced the mRNA expression of UCP2. Furthermore, the results showed a decrease of PI3K expression by GEN and DAI when compared with OA treatment, and both GEN and DAI can increase the expression of FOXO3a and caspase-8 significantly when these proteins were decreased by OA treatment. GEN is more effective than DAI in inducing cell apoptosis.

Conclusion: Our results demonstrated that GEN and DAI inhibit the accumulation of LDs by regulating LDs-related factors and lead to a final apoptosis of colon cancer cells. These results may provide important new insights into the possible molecular mechanisms of isoflavones in anti-obesity and anti-tumor functions.


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How to Cite
Liang Y-S, Qi W-T, Guo W, Wang C-L, Hu Z-B, Li A-K. Genistein and daidzein induce apoptosis of colon cancer cells by inhibiting the accumulation of lipid droplets. fnr [Internet]. 2018May11 [cited 2018Oct.21];620. Available from:
Original Articles