Effect of daidzein on cell growth, cell cycle, and telomerase activity of human cervical cancer in vitro


Jun Ming Guo, MD, PhD, School of Medicine, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China. Email: junmingguo@yahoo.com


Phytoestrogens are some plant compounds exhibiting estrogen-like activities. However, some studies have shown that they also affect the growth of some nonhormone-dependent diseases. In this study, daidzein – one of the most common phytoestrogens – was used to investigate its effects on human cervical cancer cells HeLa in vitro. First, the cell growth was measured by using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Then, the distributions of cell cycle and apoptosis were analyzed with the help of flow cytometry. Finally, the telomerase activity was detected by using real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The results showed that at the concentrations from 6.25 to 100 µmol/l, daidzein inhibited the growth of HeLa cells. Flow cytometric analysis showed that cancer cells were arrested at G0 / G1 or G2 / M phase with daidzein. The inductive effects of apoptosis were more obviously observed in low-concentration groups. After HeLa cells were treated with daidzein, the expression of human telomerase catalytic subunit mRNA decreased. These meant that daidzein affected human nonhormone-dependent cervical cancer cells in several ways, including cell growth, cell cycle, and telomerase activity in vitro.