Quercetin Induces Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis in YD10B and YD38 Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Dental Hygiene, Division of Health Science, Yeungnam University of College, Daegu, 42415, Republic of Korea.

2 Precision Medicine Research Center, Department of Biomedicine & Health Sciences, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, 06591, Republic of Korea.


Objective: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) exhibits the highest lethality among head and neck cancers. Treatment for OSCC is limited due to diverse side effects. Quercetin is a natural flavonoid compound found in many kinds of plants and foods. Quercetin has been reported to be a modulator of proliferation and survival in various types of cancers due to its cytotoxic effects. We aimed to investigating chemopreventative roles of quercetin in YD10B and YD38 OSCC cells. Methods: For our study, two different types of OSCC cells were used. YD10B cells are tongue SCC cells with the p53 mutation and YD38 cells are lower gingiva SCC cells without the p53 mutation, respectively. The anticancer effects of quercetin were examined by cell viability, cell cycle, annexin-PI staining, and western blot. Result: Our results showed that quercetin decreased cell viability and induced G1 cell cycle arrest in YD10B and YD38 OSCC cells. Moreover, quercetin remarkably decreased the expression of cell cycle upregulating proteins and increased the expression of a CDK inhibitor. Quercetin also significantly increased the number of annexin-V-positive cells in a dose-dependent manner in both types of OSCC cells. This apoptotic potential of quercetin triggered cleavage of PARP followed by activation of p38 MAPK signaling pathway. Conclusion: In conclusion, this study demonstrates that quercetin shows different anti-cancer responses in OSCC with and without p53 mutation, respectively. Despite different p53 status in OSCC cells, quercetin led to apoptotic signals in both cells. Quercetin repressed cell proliferation with G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis by activating the p38 signaling pathway in two OSCC cells with different p53 status. These findings might provide new strategy for OSCC therapy by quercetin.


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