5-Demethylnobiletin Inhibits Cell Proliferation, Downregulates ID1 Expression, Modulates the NF-κB/TNF-α Pathway and Exerts Antileukemic Effects in AML Cells

Pei Yi Chen, Chih Yang Wang, En Ci Tsao, Yu Ting Chen, Ming Jiuan Wu, Chi Tang Ho, Jui Hung Yen

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is characterized by the dysregulation of hematopoietic cell proliferation, resulting in the accumulation of immature myeloid cells in bone marrow. 5-Demethylnobiletin (5-demethyl NOB), a citrus 5-hydroxylated polymethoxyflavone, has been reported to exhibit various bioactivities, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. In this study, we investigated the antileukemic effects of 5-demethyl NOB and its un-derlying molecular mechanisms in human AML cells. We found that 5-demethyl NOB (20–80μM) significantly reduced human leukemia cell viability, and the following trend of effectiveness was observed: THP-1 ≈ U-937 > HEL > HL-60 > K562 cells. 5-Demethyl NOB (20 and 40μM) modulated the cell cycle through the regulation of p21, cyclin E1 and cyclin A1 expression and induced S phase arrest. 5-Demethyl NOB also promoted leukemia cell apoptosis and differentiation. Micro-array-based transcriptome, Gene Ontology (GO) and Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) analysis showed that the expression of inhibitor of differen-tiation/DNA binding 1 (ID1), a gene associated with the GO biological process (BP) cell population proliferation (GO: 0008283), was most strongly suppressed by 5-demethyl NOB (40μM) in THP-1 cells. We further demonstrated that 5-demethyl NOB-induced ID1 reduction was associated with the inhibition of leukemia cell growth. Moreover, DEGs involved in the hallmark gene set NF-κB/TNF-α signaling pathway were markedly enriched and downregulated by 5-demethyl NOB. Finally, we demonstrated that 5-demethyl NOB (20 and 40μM), combined with cytarabine, synergistically reduced THP-1 and U-937 cell viability. Our current findings support that 5-demethyl NOB dramatically suppresses leukemia cell proliferation and may serve as a potential phytochemical for human AML chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7392
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • 5-demethylnobiletin
  • AML
  • cytarabine
  • GSEA
  • ID1
  • NF-κB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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