Author(s): Sergeev IN, Sergeev IN
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Abstract Genistein, a soy-derived isoflavone, has been suggested for breast cancer prevention; however, use of soy products for this purpose remains controversial. Genistein has been reported to regulate growth of tumor cells, although the involved molecular mechanisms are not defined. Here we report that genistein induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells via activation of the Ca2+ -dependent proapoptotic proteases, mu-calpain, and caspase-12. The treatment of MCF-7 breast cancer cells with genistein induced a sustained increase in concentration of intracellular Ca2+ resulting from depletion of the endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ stores. This increase in Ca2+ was associated with activation of mu-calpain and caspase-12, as evaluated with the calpain and caspase-12 substrates and antibodies to active (cleaved) forms of the enzymes. Selective inhibition of Ca2+ binding sites of mu-calpain, forced increase of the cytosolic Ca2+ buffering capacity, and caspase inhibition decreased apoptotic indices in the genistein-treated cells. Our results suggest that Ca2+ -dependent proteases are potential targets for genistein in breast cancer cells and that the cellular Ca2+ regulatory activity of genistein underlies its apoptotic mechanism.
This article was published in Biochem Biophys Res Commun
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy