Silibinin inhibits invasion of oral cancer cells by suppressing the MAPK pathway.
J Dent Res. 2006 Mar;85(3):220-5. PMID: 16498067
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most common malignancy of the oral cavity. Here, we provide molecular evidence associated with the anti-metastatic effect of silibinin by showing a marked inhibition of the invasion and motility of SCC-4 tongue cancer cells, with 89% and 66.4% of inhibition, respectively, by 100 microM of silibinin. This effect was associated with a reduced expression of MMP-2 and u-PA, together with an enhanced expression of TIMP-2 and PAI-1. Silibinin also exerted an inhibitory effect on the phosphorylation of ERK1/2. Additionally, pre-treatment of SCC-4 cancer cells with 10 and 20 microM of U0126, a specific MEK inhibitor, resulted in a reduced expression of MMP-2 (18.7 and 51.4%) and u-PA (19.2 and 48.9%) concomitantly with a marked inhibition of cell invasion (13.7 and 45.7%). Finally, silibinin was evidenced by its inhibition of the metastasis of Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) cells in vivo. These results suggested that silibinin can reduce the invasion and metastasis of tumor cells, and such a characteristic may be of great value in the development of a potential cancer therapy.