Icariside II from Epimedium koreanum inhibits hypoxia-inducible factor-1α in human osteosarcoma cells

Hwa Jung Choi, Jae Soon Eun, Dae Keun Kim, Ri Hua Li, Tae Yong Shin, Hyunsung Park, Nam Pyo Cho, Yunjo Soh

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54 Scopus citations


Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is an important tumor-selective therapeutic target for solid tumors. Icariside II was isolated from Epimedium koreanum through successive fractionation with ethyl acetate, n-butanol, chloroform and hexane, followed by gel column chromatography. Icariside II attenuated the protein level of HIF-1α induced by hypoxia in human osteosarcoma (HOS) cells in a concentration-dependent manner, probably by enhancing the interaction rate between von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) and HIF-1α. Furthermore, Icariside II down-regulated the levels of HIF-inducible genes involved in angiogenesis, metastasis, and glucose metabolism, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR), adrenomedullin (ADM), matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2), aldolase A, and enolase 1 in HOS cells. Icariside II also inhibited the migration rate in HOS cells and tube formation rate in human umbilical vein endothelium cells (HUVECs). Overall, these results suggest the potential use of Icariside II as a therapeutic candidate against various diseases that involve overexpression of HIF-1α.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-65
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 28 Jan 2008


  • Angiogenesis
  • Epimedium koreanum
  • HIF-1α
  • HOS
  • Hypoxia
  • Icariside
  • Invasion
  • Metastasis
  • VEGF
  • VHL


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