Int J Oral Biol.  2020 Dec;45(4):152-161. 10.11620/IJOB.2020.45.4.152.

Anticancer effects of D-pinitol in human oral squamous carcinoma cells

  • 1Department of Oral Anatomy, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University, Yangsan 50612, Republic of Korea
  • 2BK21 FOUR Project, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University, Yangsan 50612, Republic of Korea


D-pinitol is an analog of 3-methoxy-D-chiro-inositol found in beans and plants. D-pinitol has anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and anticancer effects. Additionally, D-pinitol induces apoptosis and inhibits metastasis in breast and prostate cancers. However, to date, no study has investigated the anticancer effects of D-pinitol in oral cancer. Therefore, in this study, whether the anticancer effects of D-pinitol induce apoptosis, inhibit the epithelialto-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and arrest cell cycle was investigated in squamous epithelial cells. D-pinitol decreased the survival and cell proliferation rates of CAL-27 and Ca9-22 oral squamous carcinoma cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Evidence of apoptosis, including nuclear condensation, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, and caspase-3 fragmentation, was also observed. D-pinitol inhibited the migration and invasion of both cell lines. In terms of EMT-related proteins, E-cadherin was increased, whereas N-cadherin, Snail, and Slug were decreased. D-pinitol also decreased the expression of cyclin D1, a protein involved in the cell cycle, but increased the expression of p21, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor. Hence, D-pinitol induces apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in CAL-27 and Ca9-22 cells, demonstrating an anticancer effect by decreasing the EMT.


D-pinitol; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition; Cell cycle checkpoints; Oral squamous carcinoma cells
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