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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2012, Article ID 534934, 11 pages
Research Article

Isoliquiritigenin-Induced Differentiation in Mouse Melanoma B16F0 Cell Line

1Key Laboratory of Xinjiang Endemic Phytomedicine Resources of Ministry of Education, School of Pharmacy, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832002, China
2Lanzhou University Second Hospital, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
3Life Science School, Yantai University, Yantai 264000, China

Received 5 September 2012; Revised 3 November 2012; Accepted 8 November 2012

Academic Editor: Jing Yi

Copyright © 2012 Xiaoyu Chen 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.


The chemotherapeutical treatment is very limited for malignant melanoma, a highly lethal disease occurs globally. Natural products derived from traditional Chinese medicine licorice are attractive in quest new treatments due to their anti-tumor activities. A new dietary flavonoid isoliquiritigenin (ISL) were thus investigated to indentify its anti-melanoma activities on mouse melanoma B16F0 cells in present study. Using biochemical and free radical biological experiments in vitro, we identified the pro-differentiated profiles of ISL and evaluated the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during B16F0 cell differentiation. The data showed a strong dose-response relationship between ISL exposure and the characteristics of B16F0 differentiation in terms of morphology changes and melanogenesis. The accumulated intercellular ROS during exposure are necessary to support ISL-induced differentiation, which was proven by additional redox modulators. It was confirmed further by the relative activities of enzymes and genes modulated melanogenesis in ISL-treatments with or without ROS modulators. The tumorigenicity of ISL-treated cells was limited significantly by using the colony formation assay in vitro and an animal model assay in vivo respectively. Our research demonstrated that isoliquiritigenin is a differentiation-inducing agent, and its mechanisms involve ROS accumulation facilitating melanogenesis.