Tumor Biology

, Volume 36, Issue 8, pp 6349–6359 | Cite as

Synergistic effect between celecoxib and luteolin is dependent on estrogen receptor in human breast cancer cells

  • Ye Won Jeon
  • Young Ee Ahn
  • Won Sang Chung
  • Hyun Joo Choi
  • Young Jin Suh
Research Article


The anti-cancer effects of celecoxib and luteolin are well known. Although our previous study demonstrated that the combination of celecoxib and luteolin synergistically inhibits breast tumor growth compared with each of the treatments alone, we did not uncover the molecular mechanisms of these effects. The aims of our present study were to compare the effects of a celecoxib and luteolin combination treatment in four different human breast cell lines and to determine the mechanisms of action in vitro and in vivo. The synergistic effects of a celecoxib and luteolin combination treatment yielded significantly greater cell growth inhibition in all four breast cancer cell lines compared with the single agents alone. In particular, combined celecoxib and luteolin treatment significantly decreased the growth of MDA-MB-231 cancer cells in vivo compared with either agent alone. The celecoxib and luteolin combination treatment induced synergistic effects via Akt inactivation and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling inhibition in MCF-7 and MCF7/HER18 cells and via Akt inactivation and ERK signaling activation in MDA-MB-231 and SkBr3 cells. These results demonstrate the synergistic anti-tumor effect of the celecoxib and luteolin combination treatment in different four breast cancer cell lines, thus introducing the possibility of this combination as a new treatment modality.


Breast neoplasms Celecoxib Luteolin Apoptosis Estrogen Receptors 



This study was supported by the Medical Research Center, Catholic University of Korea St. Vincent’s Hospital.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ye Won Jeon
    • 1
  • Young Ee Ahn
    • 2
  • Won Sang Chung
    • 2
  • Hyun Joo Choi
    • 3
  • Young Jin Suh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, St. Vincent’s Hospital, College of MedicineThe Catholic University of KoreaSuwonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Radiology, St. Vincent’s Hospital, College of MedicineThe Catholic University of KoreaSuwonKorea
  3. 3.Department of Pathology, St. Vincent’s Hospital, College of MedicineThe Catholic University of KoreaSuwonKorea

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