International journal of clinical and experimental pathology

Formononetin sensitizes glioma cells to doxorubicin through preventing EMT via inhibition of histone deacetylase 5.

PMID 26261519


Chemoresistance is a major obstacle to successful chemotherapy for glioma. Formononetin is a novel herbal isoflavonoid isolated from Astragalus membranaceus and possesses antitumorigenic properties. In the present study, we investigated the anti-proliferative effects of formononetin on human glioma cells, and further elucidated the molecular mechanism underlying the anti-tumor property. We found that formononetin enhanced doxorubicin cytotoxicity in glioma cells. Combined treatment with formononetin reversed the doxorubicin-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in tumor cells. Moreover, we found that formononetin treatment significantly decreased the expression of HDAC5. Overexpression of HDAC5 diminished the suppressive effects of formononetin on glioma cell viability. Furthermore, knockdown of HDAC5 by siRNA inhibited the doxorubicin-induced EMT in glioma cells. Taken together, these results demonstrated that formononetin-combined therapy may enhance the therapeutic efficacy of doxorubicin in glioma cells by preventing EMT through inhibition of HDAC5.