Inhibitory effect of glyceollins on vasculogenesis through suppression of endothelial progenitor cell function


Correspondence: Dr. You-Mie Lee, Vascular Homeostasis Regulation Lab., College of Pharmacy, Kyungpook National University Daegu 702-701, Korea


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Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are derived from hematopoietic stem cells, and have the ability to differentiate into mature endothelial cells and contribute to neovascularization. Glyceollins are a type of phytoalexin produced in soybeans under stress conditions. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of glyceollin treatment on EPCs during early tumor vasculogenesis.

Methods and results

We found that glyceollin treatment significantly decreased the number of EPC colony-forming units in human cord blood-derived AC133+ cells and mouse bone-marrow-derived c-Kit+/Sca-1+/Lin cells. Glyceollin treatment diminished the number of lineage-committed EPC cells in a dose-dependent manner (1–20 μM). Glyceollin treatment inhibited EPC migration, tube formation and the mRNA expression of angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), Tie-2, stromal-derived factor-1 (SDF-1), C-X-C-chemokine receptor-4 (CXCR4), and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in cultured EPCs. Glyceollin treatment suppressed activation of Akt, Erk, and eNOS induced by SDF-1α or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Treatment with 10 mg/kg glyceollins significantly reduced the number of tumor-induced circulating EPCs and the incorporation of EPCs into neovessels in bone marrow transplanted mice.


These results suggest that glyceollins inhibit the function of EPCs in tumor neovascularization. Glyceollins from soybean elicitation could be beneficial in prevention of cancer development via vasculogenesis.