Phytochemicals Attenuating Aberrant Activation of β-Catenin in Cancer Cells

Dan Wang, Mitchell L. Wise, Feng Li, Moul Dey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Phytochemicals are a rich source of chemoprevention agents but their effects on modulating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway have remained largely uninvestigated. Aberrantly activated Wnt signaling can result in the abnormal stabilization of β-catenin, a key causative step in a broad spectrum of cancers. Here we report the modulation of lithium chloride-activated canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling by phytochemicals that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory or chemopreventive properties. The compounds were first screened with a cervical cancer-derived stable Wnt signaling reporter HeLa cell line. Positive hits were subsequently evaluated for β-catenin degradation, suppression of β-catenin nuclear localization and down-regulation of downstream oncogenic targets of Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Our study shows a novel degradation path of β-catenin protein in HeLa cells by Avenanthramide 2p (a polyphenol) and Triptolide (a diterpene triepoxide), respectively from oats and a Chinese medicinal plant. The findings present Avenanthramide 2p as a potential chemopreventive dietary compound that merits further study using in vivo models of cancers; they also provide a new perspective on the mechanism of action of Triptolide.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere50508
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 3 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)
  • General


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