Genistein attenuates WNT signaling by up-regulating sFRP2 in a human colon cancer cell line

Yukun Zhang, Hong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading fatal carcinoma worldwide. Our goal was to investigate the effects of genistein on WNT signaling, which is involved in colon epithelial cell growth and apoptosis. Human colon cancer cell line DLD-1 was treated for four days with 75 μmol/L genistein. Decreased nuclear β-catenin and increased phospho-β-catenin accumulation was detected, showing a change in WNT signaling. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis showed increased sFRP2 (a WNT pathway antagonist) mRNA expression following the genistein treatment. Methylation selective polymerase chain reaction showed decreased methylation in two CpG islands of the sFRP2 gene following genistein treatment, similar to the effect of 5-aza-cytidine, a demethylation agent. We observed reduced DLD-1 cell viability and increased apoptosis with genistein treatment. Genistein inhibits β-catenin-mediated WNT signaling through increasing sFRP2 gene expression by demethylating its silenced promoter in colon cancer cell line DLD-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-722
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • 5-aza-cytidine
  • DLD-1
  • DNA methylation
  • WNT signaling
  • β-catenin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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