Investigation of effect of tectorigenin (O-methylated isoflavone) on Ca2+ signal transduction and cytotoxic responses in canine renal tubular cells

He Hsiung Cheng, Wei Zhe Liang, Wei Chuan Liao, Chun Chi Kuo, Lyh Jyh Hao, Chiang Ting Chou, Chung Ren Jan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

3 Scopus citations


Tectorigenin, a traditional Chinese medicine, is isolated from the flower of plants such as Pueraria thomsonii Benth. It is an O-methylated isoflavone, a type of flavonoid. Previous studies have shown that tectorigenin evoked various physiological responses in different models, but the effect of tectorigenin on cytosolic-free Ca2+ levels ([Ca2+]i) and cytotoxicity in renal tubular cells is unknown. Our research explored if tectorigenin changed Ca2+ signal transduction and viability in Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) renal tubular cells. [Ca2+]i in suspended cells were measured by applying the fluorescent Ca2+-sensitive probe fura-2. Viability was explored by using water-soluble tetrazolium-1 as a fluorescent dye. Tectorigenin at concentrations of 5-50 μM induced [Ca2+]i rises. Ca2+ removal reduced the signal by approximately 20%. Tectorigenin (50 μM) induced Mn2+ influx suggesting of Ca2+ entry. Tectorigenin-induced Ca2+ entry was inhibited by 10% by three inhibitors of store-operated Ca2+ channels, namely, nifedipine, econazole, and SKF96365. In Ca2+-free medium, treatment with the endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ pump inhibitor thapsigargin inhibited 83% of tectorigenin-evoked [Ca2+]i rises. Conversely, treatment with tectorigenin abolished thapsigargin-evoked [Ca2+]i rises. Inhibition of phospholipase C with U73122 inhibited 50% of tectorigenin-induced [Ca2+]i rises. Tectorigenin at concentrations between 10 and 60 μM killed cells in a concentration-dependent fashion. Chelation of cytosolic Ca2+ with 1,2-bis (2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N, N, N', N'-tetraacetic acid/acetoxy methyl did not reverse tectorigenin's cytotoxicity. Our data suggest that, in MDCK cells, tectorigenin evoked [Ca2+]i rises and induced cell death that was not associated with [Ca2+]i rises. Therefore, tectorigenin may be a Ca2+-independent cytotoxic agent for kidney cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-67
Number of pages8
JournalChinese Journal of Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 01 03 2020
Externally publishedYes

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  • Ca signal transduction
  • Madin-Darby Canine Kidney
  • tectorigenin
  • viability


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