Int J Oral Biol.  2019 Jun;44(2):43-49. 10.11620/IJOB.2019.44.2.43.

Tannic acid-induced apoptosis in FaDu hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma

  • 1Institute of Biotechnology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Hanoi 1000, Vietnam.
  • 2Department of Pharmacology and Dental Therapeutics, College of Dentistry, Chosun University, Gwangju 61452, Republic of Korea.


Tannic acid (TA) is a water-soluble polyphenol compound found in various herbal plants. We investigated the chemopreventive effects of TA on FaDu hypopharyngeal squamous carcinoma cells. In an 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, TA showed dose-dependent cytotoxicity with a half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 50 µM. Cell cycle analysis and immunofluorescence imaging demonstrated that under low-dose (25 µM) treatment, FaDu cells were arrested in G2/M phase, and as the dose of TA was increased, apoptosis was induced with the increase of cell population at sub-G1 phase. The expressions of various cyclins, including cyclin D1 and cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK-1 and CDK-2), were down-regulated at low doses of TA, whereas apoptotic effectors such as cleaved caspase 3, cleaved caspase 7, and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) were expressed in a dose-dependent manner in Western blotting. In addition, TA-induced apoptosis of FaDu cells might be mediated by the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)/mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, with the upregulation of p-AKT/p-PKB (phosphorylated protein kinase B) and p-ERK. Overall, our data support the hypothesis that TA is a potential candidate agent for the treatment of hypopharyngeal cancer.


Apoptosis; Hypopharyngeal cancer; FaDu cells; Tannic acid
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