Ginkgetin induces cell death in breast cancer cells via downregulation of the estrogen receptor

Yoonhwa Park, Sang Hyeok Woo, Sung Keum Seo, Hyunggee Kim, Woo Chul Noh, Jin Kyung Lee, Byoung Mog Kwon, Kyung Nam Min, Tae Boo Choe, In Chul Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Ginkgetin is a natural biflavonoid isolated from the leaves of Ginkgo biloba, and is characterized by its anti-inflammatory and anti-viral activities. Although numerous studies state that it has also antitumor activity, the anti-proliferative effect of ginkgetin and the underlying mechanism in breast cancer cells have not yet been investigated. In the present study, ginkgetin inhibited the cell viability of MCF-7 and T-47D cells dose-dependently, and suppressed the expression of the estrogen receptor (ER) at the mRNA and protein levels. Among the targets of the ER, 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase 3 (PFKFB3), cyclin D1 and survivin were also downregulated by ginkgetin treatment. The anti-proliferative effects of ginkgetin were sufficient to suppress the growth by estradiol stimulation. However, ginkgetin did not significantly affect the viability of MDA-MB-231 cells, which are ER-negative cells. Furthermore, the knockdown of the ER and an inhibitor of PFKFB3 significantly sensitized MCF-7 and T-47D cells to ginkgetin. These findings suggest that ginkgetin induces cell death in ER-positive breast cancer cells via the inhibition of ER expression and that it is a promising agent for breast cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5027-5033
Number of pages7
JournalOncology Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Apoptosis
  • Breast cancer
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Ginkgetin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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