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Gallic acid (GA), a polyphenol, is widely found in numerous fruits and vegetables, particularly in hickory nuts. In the present study, we found that gallic acid, a natural phenolic compound isolated from fruits and vegetables, had a more potent growth inhibitory effect on two ovarian cancer cell lines, OVCAR-3 and A2780/CP70, than the effect on a normal ovarian cell line, IOSE-364. These results demonstrated that GA selectively inhibits the growth of cancer cells. Gene expression was examined by ELISA and western blot analysis, and gene pathways were examined by luciferase assay. It was found that GA inhibited VEGF secretion and suppressed in vitro angiogenesis in a concentration-dependent manner. GA downregulated AKT phosphorylation as well as HIF-1α expression but promoted PTEN expression. The luciferase assay results suggest that the PTEN/AKT/HIF-1α pathway accounts for the inhibitory effect of GA on VEGF expression and in vitro angiogenesis. These findings provide strong support for the high potential of GA in the prevention and therapy of ovarian cancer.


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