Antimetastatic potential of cardiotoxin III involves inactivation of PI3K/Akt and p38 MAPK signaling pathways in human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells

Kuei-Li Lin, Ching-Ming Chien, Chi-Ying Hsieh, Pei-Chien Tsai, Long-Sen Chang, Shinne-Ren Lin
Life Sciences 2012 January 2, 90 (1-2): 54-65

AIM: The aim of this study is to determine whether cardiotoxin III (CTX III) inhibited the metastasis in MDA-MB-231 cells and to further explain its possible mechanisms.

MAIN METHODS: The MTT assay, wound healing assay, Boyden chamber invasion assay, zymography analysis, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), inhibitor assay, and Western blot analysis were used to reveal molecular events of CTX III in this study.

KEY FINDINGS: During treatment with non-toxic doses of CTX III, not only cell migration and invasion were markedly suppressed but the expression/activity of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) was also significantly and selectively suppressed in a concentration-dependent manner. In addition, CTX III decreased the nuclear protein level of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), and pretreatment with NF-κB inhibitor (PDTC) or IκB protease inhibitor (TPCK) also reduced MMP-9 expression/activity and cell migration. Our biochemical assays indicated that CTX III potently suppressed the phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), phosphatidylinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) and Akt. Additionally, the treatment of inhibitors specific for p38 MAPK (SB203580) or PI3K (wortmannin) to cells could result in a reduced expression of NF-κB and MMP-9 expression, concomitantly with an inhibition on cell metastasis.

SIGNIFICANCE: These results demonstrated that CTX III inhibition of MDA-MB-231 cells may occur through inactivation of both PI3K/Akt and p38 MAPK signaling pathways, exerting inhibitory effects on NF-κB transcriptional factor, thereby decreasing the activity of MMP-9 and then posing an anti-metastatic effect in the cells.

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