Radiosensitizing effect of ellagic acid on growth of Hepatocellular carcinoma cells: an in vitro study
Failure of treatment for cancer in clinic by radio/chemotherapy is generally attributed to tumour resistance. Therefore, it is important to develop strategies to increase the cytotoxicity of tumour cells by radiation in combination with unique tumour selective cytotoxic agents. We evaluated the potential of ellagic acid (EA) as an enhancer of oxidative stress in cancer cells. HepG2 cells were treated with EA (10 µM) for 12 h prior to exposure of single 7.5 Gy dose of irradiation. Treatment of HepG2 cells with EA and gamma radiation showed increased reactive oxygen species generation, up regulation of p53 protein expression, decreased survival markers level like p-Akt, p-NF-kB and p-STAT3 which were significantly higher after radiation treatment alone. We also found that combination treatment increased G2/M phase cell population, decreased IL-6, COX-2 and TNF-α expression and caused a loss in mitochondrial membrane potential with decreased level of angiogenesis marker MMP-9. Over expression of Bax and activation of caspase 3 indicated the apoptosis of the cells. The results provided a strong unique strategy to kill cancer cells HepG2, using less radiation dose along with effective pro-oxidant dose of EA.