Life sciences

Molecular docking prediction and in vitro studies elucidate anti-cancer activity of phytoestrogens.

PMID 28720470


The study is aimed at evaluating the chemosensitization and apoptotic effect of aglycone rich extracts of dietary phytoestrogens (derived from soybean and flaxseed) on estrogen receptor positive, MCF-7 and estrogen receptor negative, MDA-MB-231 cells. The extracts show potent activity on both the cell lines, hence, in silico studies have been carried out to find the possible reason for their activity. MTT assay was carried to assess chemosensitization effect and activated caspase-3/7 activity was studied using flow-cytometry and western blotting. In silico studies were carried out using PharmMapper and the top hits were taken up for docking using the Schrödinger software. Top molecular targets were subjected to gene expression studies by qPCR and protein expression using Western blot analysis. This study reports the apoptotic activity and chemosensitization effect of the phytoestrogens. Molecular docking studies predict AKR1B1 (aldose reductase), HRAS (Harvey rat sarcoma) and GSTP1 (glutathione s-transferase pi) as potential molecular targets for genistein, daidzein and secoisolariciresinol, respectively. Gene and protein expression studies show down-regulation of AKR1BI, HRAS and GSTP1 by the extracts. The qPCR and western blot analysis results support the computational analyses, and hence genistein, daidzein and secoisolariciresinol may be considered as good candidates for future development into potent inhibitors of the respective protein targets through medicinal chemistry optimization.

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