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Dysregulation of cellular metabolism is a key marker of cancer, and it is suggested that metabolism should be considered as a targeted weakness of colorectal cancer. Increased polyamine metabolism is a common metabolic change in tumors. Thus, targeting polyamine metabolism for anticancer therapy, particularly polyamine blockade therapy, has gradually become a hot topic. Quercetin-3-methyl ether is a natural compound existed in various plants with diverse biological activities like antioxidant and antiaging. Here, we reported that Quercetin-3-methyl ether inhibits colorectal cancer cell viability, and promotes apoptosis in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner. Intriguingly, the polyamine levels, including spermidine and spermine, in colorectal cancer cells were reduced upon treatment of Quercetin-3-methyl ether. This is likely resulted from the downregulation of SMOX, a key enzyme in polyamine metabolism that catalyzes the oxidation of spermine to spermidine. These findings suggest Quercetin-3-methyl ether decreases cellular polyamine level by suppressing SMOX expression, thereby inducing colorectal cancer cell apoptosis. Our results also reveal a correlation between the anti-tumor activity of Quercetin-3-methyl ether and the polyamine metabolism modulation, which may provide new insights into a better understanding of the pharmacological activity of Quercetin-3-methyl ether and how it reprograms cellular polyamine metabolism. © The author(s).


Jincheng Zeng, Yuancheng Zhang, Yuming Fang, Jiachun Lian, Hailiang Zhang, Shaobing Zhang, Bihua Lin, Ziyu Ye, Caihong Li, Xianxiu Qiu, Yanfang Liang. Natural Product Quercetin-3-methyl ether Promotes Colorectal Cancer Cell Apoptosis by Downregulating Intracellular Polyamine Signaling. International journal of medical sciences. 2024;21(5):904-913

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PMID: 38617002

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