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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 121458, 10 pages
Research Article

Biochanin A Modulates Cell Viability, Invasion, and Growth Promoting Signaling Pathways in HER-2-Positive Breast Cancer Cells

Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy Idaho, Biomedical Research Institute, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID 83209, USA

Received 24 June 2009; Revised 3 November 2009; Accepted 10 November 2009

Academic Editor: Bruno Vincenzi

Copyright © 2009 Vikas Sehdev et al. 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.


Overexpression of HER-2 receptor is associated with poor prognosis and aggressive forms of breast cancer. Scientific literature indicates a preventive role of isoflavones in cancer. Since activation of HER-2 receptor initiates growth-promoting events in cancer cells, we studied the effect of biochanin A (an isoflavone) on associated signaling events like receptor activation, downstream signaling, and invasive pathways. HER-2-positive SK-BR-3 breast cancer cells, MCF-10A normal breast epithelial cells, and NIH-3T3 normal fibroblast cells were treated with biochanin A (2–100  M) for 72 hours. Subsequently cell viability assay, western blotting and zymography were carried out. The data indicate that biochanin A inhibits cell viability, signaling pathways, and invasive enzyme expression and activity in SK-BR-3 cancer cells. Biochanin A did not inhibit MCF-10A and NIH-3T3 cell viability. Therefore, biochanin A could be a unique natural anticancer agent which can selectively target cancer cells and inhibit multiple signaling pathways in HER-2-positive breast cancer cells.