Cucurbitacin B inhibits the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells by altering the biomechanical properties of cells.
Phytother Res. 2019 Mar ;33(3):618-630. Epub 2018 Dec 12. PMID: 30548720
Changes in cellular biomechanical properties affect cell migration and invasion. The natural compound Cucurbitacin B (CuB) has potent anticancer activity; however, the mechanism underlying its inhibitory effect on breast cancer metastasis needs further study. Here, we showed that low-dose CuB inhibited adhesion and altered the viscoelasticity of breast cancer cells, thereby, reducing cell deformability. In vitro and in vivo experiments proved that CuB effectively inhibited the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. Further studies have found that CuB downregulated the expression of F-actin/vimentin/FAK/vinculin in breast cancer cells, altering the distribution and reorganization of cytoskeletal proteins in the cells. CuB inhibited signaling by the Rho family GTPases RAC1/CDC42/RhoA downstream of integrin. These findings indicate that CuB has been proven to mediate the reorganization and distribution of cytoskeletal proteins of breast cancer cells through RAC1/CDC42/RhoA signaling, which improves the mechanical properties of cell adhesion and deformation and consequently inhibits cell migration and invasion.