Novel combination of sorafenib and biochanin-A synergistically enhances the anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects on hepatocellular carcinoma cells

Funding Sponsor

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University

Author's Department

Biology Department

Find in your Library


Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Scientific Reports

Publication Date





© The Author(s) 2016. Sorafenib (SOR) is the first-line treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, its use is hindered by the recently expressed safety concerns. One approach for reducing SOR toxicity is to use lower doses in combination with other less toxic agents. Biochanin-A (Bio-A), a promising isoflavone, showed selective toxicity to liver cancer cells. We postulated that combining SOR and Bio-A could be synergistically toxic towards HCC cells. We further evaluated the underlying mechanism. Cytotoxicity assay was performed to determine the IC 50 of Bio-A and SOR in HepG2, SNU-449 and Huh-7 cells. Then, combination index in HepG2 was evaluated using Calcusyn showing that the concurrent treatment with lower concentrations of SOR and Bio-A synergistically inhibited cell growth. Our combination induced significant arrest in pre-G and G0/G1 cell cycle phases and decrease in cyclin D1 protein level. Concomitantly, SOR/Bio-A reduced Bcl-2/Bax ratio. Furthermore, this co-treatment significantly increased caspase-3 &-9 apoptotic markers, while decreased anti-apoptotic and proliferative markers; survivin and Ki-67, respectively. Active caspase-3 in HepG2, SNU-449 and Huh-7 confirmed our synergism hypothesis. This study introduces a novel combination, where Bio-A synergistically enhanced the anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects of SOR in HCC cells, which could serve as a potential effective regimen for treatment.

This document is currently not available here.