Pharmacological induction of leukotriene B4-12-hydroxydehydrogenase suppresses the oncogenic transformation of human hepatoma HepG2 cells

Lai Wei, Jie Liu, X. Chris Le, Yifan Han, Yao Tong, Allan S.Y. Lau, Jianhui Rong

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Leukotriene B4-12-hydroxydehydrogenase (LTB4DH) is characterized as a chemopreventive and tumor suppressor gene. The aim of this study was to investigate the pharmacological induction of LTB4DH and potential anticancer activity. Using HepG2 cells as a cellular detector, we successfully isolated the active compounds from the herbs Radix Astragali and Radix Paeoniae Rubra through a bioactivity-guided fractionation procedure. Using various analytical techniques including electronic spray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESIMS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), gallic acid (GA) was identified as the active compound from Radix Paeoniae Rubra whereas the active compound from Radix Astragali, designated as RA-C, was also purified to the extent that it is now suitable for further identification. We found that the active compounds from these two different herbs synergistically induced LTB4DH expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner. A key finding was that commercial GA in combination with purified RA-C attenuated the focus formation and anchorage-independent growth, two indexes of in vitro oncogenic transformation, of HepG2 cells via the induction of LTB4DH expression. Moreover, the combination of GA and purified RA-C significantly induced G2/M cell cycle arrest in HepG2 cells. Our results demonstrated for the first time that GA and purified RA-C suppress the in vitro oncogenic transformation of HepG2 cells via the induction of LTB4DH expression. Importantly, pharmacological induction of LTB4DH represents a potential alternative strategy for the therapy of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-745
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2011


  • Bioactivity-guided fractionation
  • Cell cycle arrest
  • Chemoprevention
  • Gallic acid
  • Leukotriene B4
  • Leukotriene B4-12-hydroxydehydrogenase
  • Oncogenic transformation
  • Radix astragali
  • Radix paeoniae rubra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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