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Abstract Title:

Honokiol inhibits EMT-mediated motility and migration of human non-small cell lung cancer cells in vitro by targeting c-FLIP.

Abstract Source:

Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2016 Dec ;37(12):1574-1586. Epub 2016 Sep 5. PMID: 27593221

Abstract Author(s):

Xiao-Qin Lv, Xin-Ran Qiao, Ling Su, Shu-Zhen Chen

Article Affiliation:

Xiao-Qin Lv


AIM: Honokiol (HNK) is a natural compound isolated from the magnolia plant with numerous pharmacological activities, including inhibiting epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which has been proposed as an attractive target for anti-tumor drugs to prevent tumor migration. In this study we investigated the effects of HNK on EMT in human NSCLC cells in vitro and the related signaling mechanisms.

METHODS: TNF-α (25 ng/mL) in combination with TGF-β1 (5 ng/mL) was used to stimulate EMT of human NSCLC A549 and H460 cells. Cell proliferation was analyzed using a sulforhodamine B assay. A wound-healing assay and a transwell assay were performed to examine cell motility. Western blotting was used to detect the expression levels of relevant proteins. siRNAs were used to knock down the gene expression of c-FLIP and N-cadherin. Stable overexpression of c-FLIP L (H157-FLIP L) or Lac Z (H157-Lac Z) was also performed.

RESULTS: Treatment with TNF-α+TGF-β1 significantly enhanced the migration of A549 and H460 cells, increased c-FLIP, N-cadherin (a mesenchymal marker), snail (a transcriptional modulator) and p-Smad2/3 expression, and decreased IκB levels in the cells; these changes were abrogated by co-treatment with HNK (30 μmol/L). Further studies demonstrated that expression level of c-FLIP was highly correlated with the movement and migration of NSCLC cells, and the downstream effectors of c-FLIP signaling were NF-κB signaling and N-cadherin/snail signaling, while Smad signaling might lie upstream of c-FLIP.

CONCLUSION: HNK inhibits EMT-mediated motility and migration of human NSCLC cells in vitro by targeting c-FLIP, which can be utilized as a promising target for cancer therapy, while HNK may become a potential anti-metastasis drug or lead compound.

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