Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a common hematological malignancy characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of leukemia cells in children. Discovering and developing effective chemotherapeutic drugs are needed for ALL. In this study, we investigated the anti-leukemic activity of butein and its action mechanisms in ALL. Butein was found to significantly suppress the cellular proliferation of ALL cell lines and primary ALL blasts in a dose-dependent manner. It also induced cell cycle arrest by decreasing the expression of cyclin E and CDK2. We also found that butein promoted nuclear Forkhead Class box O3a (FOXO3a) localization, enhanced the binding of FOXO3a on the p27kip1 gene promoter and then increased the expression of p27kip1. Moreover, we showed that FOXO3a knockdown significantly decreased the proliferation inhibition by butein, whereas overexpression of FOXO3a enhanced the butein-mediated proliferation inhibition. However, overexpression of FOXO3a mutation (C-terminally truncated FOXO3a DNA-binding domain) decreased the proliferation inhibition by butein through decreasing the expression of p27kip1. Our results therefore demonstrate the therapeutic potential of butein for ALL via FOXO3a/p27kip1 pathway.
Tang, Y. L., Huang, L. B., Lin, W. H., Wang, L. N., Tian, Y., Shi, D., … Luo, X. Q. (2016). Butein inhibits cell proliferation and induces cell cycle arrest in acute lymphoblastic leukemia via FOXO3a/p27kip1 pathway. Oncotarget, 7(14), 18651–18664. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7624