Celastrol inhibits TGF-β1-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition by inhibiting Snail and regulating E-cadherin expression

Hyereen Kang, Minjae Lee, Sung-Wuk Jang
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 2013 August 9, 437 (4): 550-6
The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a pivotal event in the invasive and metastatic potentials of cancer progression. Celastrol inhibits the proliferation of a variety of tumor cells including leukemia, glioma, prostate, and breast cancer; however, the possible role of celastrol in the EMT is unclear. We investigated the effect of celastrol on the EMT. Transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) induced EMT-like morphologic changes and upregulation of Snail expression. The downregulation of E-cadherin expression and upregulation of Snail in Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) and A549 cell lines show that TGF-β1-mediated the EMT in epithelial cells; however, celastrol markedly inhibited TGF-β1-induced morphologic changes, Snail upregulation, and E-cadherin expression. Migration and invasion assays revealed that celastrol completely inhibited TGF-β1-mediated cellular migration in both cell lines. These findings indicate that celastrol downregulates Snail expression, thereby inhibiting TGF-β1-induced EMT in MDCK and A549 cells. Thus, our findings provide new evidence that celastrol suppresses lung cancer invasion and migration by inhibiting TGF-β1-induced EMT.


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