Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Identification of hematein as a novel inhibitor of protein kinase CK2 from a natural product library

  • Author(s): Hung, MS
  • Xu, Z
  • Lin, YC
  • Mao, JH
  • Yang, CT
  • Chang, PJ
  • Jablons, DM
  • You, L
  • et al.

Background: Casein kinase 2 (CK2) is dysregulated in various human cancers and is a promising target for cancer therapy. To date, there is no small molecular CK2 inhibitor in clinical trial yet. With the aim to identify novel CK2 inhibitors, we screened a natural product library. Methods: We adopted cell-based proliferation and CK2 kinase assays to screen CK2 inhibitors from a natural compound library. Dose-dependent response of CK2 inhibitors in vitro was determined by a radioisotope kinase assay. Western blot analysis was used to evaluate down stream Akt phosphorylation and apoptosis. Apoptosis was also evaluated by annexin-V/ propidium iodide (PI) labeling method using flow cytometry. Inhibition effects of CK2 inhibitors on the growth of cancer and normal cells were evaluated by cell proliferation and viability assays. Results: Hematein was identified as a novel CK2 inhibitor that is highly selective among a panel of kinases. It appears to be an ATP non-competitive and partially reversible CK2 inhibitor with an IC50 value of 0.55 μM. In addition, hematein inhibited cancer cell growth partially through down-regulation of Akt phosphorylation and induced apoptosis in these cells. Furthermore, hematein exerted stronger inhibition effects on the growth of cancer cells than in normal cells. Conclusion: In this study, we showed that hematein is a novel selective and cell permeable small molecule CK2 inhibitor. Hematein showed stronger growth inhibition effects to cancer cells when compared to normal cells. This compound may represent a promising class of CK2 inhibitors. © 2009 Hung et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Main Content
Current View