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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 921306, 10 pages
Research Article

Xanthohumol Induces Growth Inhibition and Apoptosis in Ca Ski Human Cervical Cancer Cells

Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Received 10 December 2014; Revised 5 February 2015; Accepted 25 February 2015

Academic Editor: Abid Hamid

Copyright © 2015 Wai Kuan Yong and Sri Nurestri Abd Malek. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigate induction of apoptosis by xanthohumol on Ca Ski cervical cancer cell line. Xanthohumol is a prenylated chalcone naturally found in hop plants, previously reported to be an effective anticancer agent in various cancer cell lines. The present study showed that xanthohumol was effective to inhibit proliferation of Ca Ski cells based on IC50 values using sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay. Furthermore, cellular and nuclear morphological changes were observed in the cells using phase contrast microscopy and Hoechst/PI fluorescent staining. In addition, 48-hour long treatment with xanthohumol triggered externalization of phosphatidylserine, changes in mitochondrial membrane potential, and DNA fragmentation in the cells. Additionally, xanthohumol mediated S phase arrest in cell cycle analysis and increased activities of caspase-3, caspase-8, and caspase-9. On the other hand, Western blot analysis showed that the expression levels of cleaved PARP, p53, and AIF increased, while Bcl-2 and XIAP decreased in a dose-dependent manner. Taken together, these findings indicate that xanthohumol-induced cell death might involve intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways, as well as downregulation of XIAP, upregulation of p53 proteins, and S phase cell cycle arrest in Ca Ski cervical cancer cells. This work suggests that xanthohumol is a potent chemotherapeutic candidate for cervical cancer.