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Kava constituents exert selective anticancer effects in oral squamous cell carcinoma cells in vitro.

Scientific reports (2020-09-29)
Antonio Celentano, Callisthenis Yiannis, Rita Paolini, Pangzhen Zhang, Camile S Farah, Nicola Cirillo, Tami Yap, Michael McCullough

Kava is a beverage made from the ground roots of the plant Piper Methysticum. Active compounds of Kava have previously been demonstrated to exert an antiproliferative effect through cell cycle arrest and promotion of apoptosis. Our aim was to investigate the in vitro effects of the main constituents derived from Kava on oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) activity. Gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) was used to characterise the main constituents of two Kava preparations. Cell proliferation was assessed in two human OSCC cell lines (H400 and BICR56) and in normal oral keratinocytes (OKF6) treated with the identified Kava constituents, namely Flavokawain A (FKA), Flavokawain B (FKB), yangonin, kavain and methysticin using an MTS in vitro assay. Cell migration at 16 h was assessed using a Transwell migration assay. Cell invasion was measured at 22 h using a Matrigel assay. Cell adhesion was assessed at 90 min with a Cytoselect Adhesion assay. The two Kava preparations contained substantially different concentrations of the main chemical constituents. Treatment of malignant and normal oral keratinocyte cell lines with three of the identified constituents, 10 μg/ml FKA, 2.5 μg/ml FKB and 10 μg/ml yangonin, showed a significant reduction in cell proliferation in both H400 and BICR56 cancer cell lines but not in normal OKF6 cells. Remarkably, the same Kava constituents induced a significant reduction of OSCC cell migration and invasion. We have demonstrated, for the first time, that Kava constituents, FKA, FKB and yangonin have potential anticancer effects on OSCC. This highlights an avenue for further research of Kava constituents in the development of future cancer therapies to prevent and treat OSCC.

Product Number
Product Description

Penicillin-Streptomycin, Solution stabilized, with 10,000 units penicillin and 10 mg streptomycin/mL, 0.1 μm filtered, BioReagent, suitable for cell culture
Trypsin-EDTA solution, 0.25%, sterile-filtered, BioReagent, suitable for cell culture, 2.5 g porcine trypsin and 0.2 g EDTA • 4Na per liter of Hanks′ Balanced Salt Solution with phenol red
Hydrocortisone solution, 50 μM, sterile-filtered, BioXtra, suitable for cell culture
Newborn Calf Serum, USA origin, sterile-filtered, suitable for cell culture