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Se Eun Han  (Han SE) 1 Article
Combined Effects of Baicalein and Docetaxel on Apoptosis in 8505c Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer Cells via Downregulation of the ERK and Akt/mTOR Pathways
Chan Ho Park, Se Eun Han, Il Seong Nam-Goong, Young Il Kim, Eun Sook Kim
Endocrinol Metab. 2018;33(1):121-132.   Published online March 21, 2018
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   ePub   

Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is one of the most lethal human malignancies. Docetaxel, a microtubule stabilizer, is a common chemotherapeutic agent used to treat various metastatic cancers. However, prolonged use results in various side effects and drug resistance. Flavonoids, such as baicalein, are accepted chemotherapeutic and dietary chemopreventive agents with many advantages, such as greater accessibility, affordability, and lower toxicity, compared with traditional chemotherapy agents. In this study, we evaluated whether baicalein enhances the effects of docetaxel on apoptosis and metastasis in 8505c ATC cells.


The 8505c cells were treated with baicalein or docetaxel individually and in combination. Cell viability was measured by MTT (thiazolyl blue tetrazolium bromide) assay, and apoptosis was detected by fluorescence microscopy of Hoechst-stained cells. The expression of apoptotic (Bax and caspase-3), anti-apoptotic (Bcl-2), angiogenic (vascular endothelial growth factor [VEGF], transforming growth factor β [TGF-β], E-cadherin, and N-cadherin), and signaling (extracellular signal-regulated kinase [ERK] mitogen activated protein kinase [MAPK], Akt, and mammalian target of rapamycin [mTOR]) proteins was determined by Western blot analysis.


The combination of baicalein (50 or 100 µM) and docetaxel (10 nM) significantly inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis compared with monotherapies. The combination treatment significantly inhibited the expression of Bax, caspase-3, VEGF, TGF-β1, E-cadherin, N-cadherin, and mTOR, but decreased the expression of Bcl-2 and significantly decreased the phosphorylation of ERK and Akt.


The combination of baicalein and docetaxel effectively induced apoptosis and inhibited metastasis in 8505c cells through downregulation of apoptotic and angiogenic protein expression and blocking of the ERK and Akt/mTOR pathways in 8505c cells. These results suggest that baicalein enhances the anticancer effects of docetaxel in ATC.


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