Apple Polyphenol Phloretin Inhibits Colorectal Cancer Cell Growth via Inhibition of the Type 2 Glucose Transporter and Activation of p53-Mediated Signaling

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Glucose transporters (GLUTs) are required for glucose uptake in malignant cells, and they can be used as molecular targets for cancer therapy. An RT-PCR analysis was performed to investigate the mRNA levels of 14 subtypes of GLUTs in human colorectal cancer (COLO 205 and HT-29) and normal (FHC) cells. RT-PCR (n = 27) was used to assess the differences in paired tissue samples (tumor vs normal) isolated from colorectal cancer patients. GLUT2 was detected in all tested cells. The average GLUT2 mRNA level in 12 of 27 (44.4%) cases was 2.4-fold higher in tumor compared to normal tissues (∗, p = 0.027). Higher GLUT2 mRNA expression was preferentially detected in advanced-stage tumors (stage 0 vs 3 = 16.38-fold, 95% CI = 9.22-26.54-fold;∗, p = 0.029). The apple polyphenol phloretin (Ph) and siRNA methods were used to inhibit GLUT2 protein expression. Ph (0-100 μM, for 24 h) induced COLO 205 cell growth cycle arrest in a p53-dependent manner, which was confirmed by pretreatment of the cells with a p53-specific dominant negative expression vector. Hepatocyte nuclear factor 6 (HNF6), which was previously reported to be a transcription factor that activates GLUT2 and p53, was also induced by Ph (0-100 μM, for 24 h). The antitumor effect of Ph (25 mg/kg or DMSO twice a week for 6 weeks) was demonstrated in vivo using BALB/c nude mice bearing COLO 205 tumor xenografts. In conclusion, targeting GLUT2 could potentially suppress colorectal tumor cell invasiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6826-6837
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - Sep 14 2016



  • apple polyphenol
  • colon cancer
  • glucose transporter 2
  • p53
  • phloretin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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