Quercetin suppresses HeLa cell viability via AMPK-induced HSP70 and EGFR down-regulation

Jin Hee Jung, Jeong Ok Lee, Ji Hae Kim, Soo Kyung Lee, Ga Young You, Sun Hwa Park, Ji Man Park, Eung Kyun Kim, Pann Ghill Suh, Jin Kyung An, Soo Hyeon Kim

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81 Citations (Scopus)


Quercetin, an anti-oxidant flavonoid that is widely distributed in the plant kingdom, has been suggested to have chemopreventive effects on cancer cells, although the mechanism is not completely understood. In this study, we found that quercetin increased the phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and downstream acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) and suppressed the viability of HeLa cells. AICAR, an AMPK activator, and quercetin down-regulated heat shock protein (HSP)70 and increased the activity of the pro-apoptotic effector, caspase 3. Knock-down of AMPK blocked quercetin-mediated HSP70 down-regulation. Moreover, knock-down of HSP70 enhanced quercetin-mediated caspase 3 activation. Furthermore, quercetin sustained epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation by suppressing the phosphatases, PP2a and SHP-2. Finally, quercetin increased the interaction between EGFR and Cbl, and also induced the tyrosine phosphorylation of Cbl. Together, these results suggest that quercetin may have anti-tumor effects on HeLa cells via AMPK-induced HSP70 and down-regulation of EGFR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-414
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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