Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 3417–3423 | Cite as

Caffeine-induced nuclear translocation of FoxO1 triggers Bim-mediated apoptosis in human glioblastoma cells

  • Fei Sun
  • Dong-feng Han
  • Bo-qiang Cao
  • Bo Wang
  • Nan Dong
  • De-hua Jiang
Original Article


Caffeine is one of the most commonly ingested neuroactive compounds and exhibits anticancer effects through induction of apoptosis and suppression of cell proliferation. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects are currently unknown. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of caffeine-induced apoptosis in U251 cells (human glioma cell line). We analyzed the inhibitory effects of caffeine on cell proliferation by performing WST-8 and colony formation assays; in addition, cell survival was assessed by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay and flow cytometric analysis. Western blotting was used to investigate the role played by FoxO1 in the proapoptotic effects of caffeine on glioma cells. Results showed that caffeine inhibited proliferation and survival of human glioma cells, induced apoptosis, and increased the expression of FoxO1 and its proapoptotic target Bim. In addition, we found that FoxO1 enhanced the transcription of its proapoptotic target Bim. In summary, our data indicates that FoxO1–Bim mediates caffeine-induced regression of glioma growth by activating cell apoptosis, thereby providing new mechanistic insight into the possible use of caffeine in treating human cancer.


Caffeine Apoptosis Forkhead box O1 (FoxO1) Bim 


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fei Sun
    • 1
  • Dong-feng Han
    • 1
  • Bo-qiang Cao
    • 1
  • Bo Wang
    • 1
  • Nan Dong
    • 1
  • De-hua Jiang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryXuzhou Central HospitalXuzhouChina

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