Chelerythrine Inhibits Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Metastasis in Vitro
Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Chelerythrine (CHE) is a type of benzophenanthridine alkaloid found in many herbs and is also the main alkaloid constituent of Toddalia asiatica (L.) LAM. It has been proven to have various activities including antitumor, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic effects. We have previously demonstrated that CHE can inhibit proliferation and promote apoptosis in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. However, the effect of CHE on the metastasis of HCC and its related molecular
... isms have yet to be validated. In this study, we investigated the effects of CHE on the migration and invasion of the HCC cell line Hep3B. 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), wounding healing, transwell migration and invasion assays and cytoskeleton staining demonstrated that CHE could inhibit the migration and invasion of Hep3B cells in a dose-dependent manner with change of cell structure. RNA interference studies made a knockdown of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2/9 respectively in Hep3B cells. And the results of wounding healing and transwell invasion assay with the treatment of small interfering RNA (siRNA) investigated that MMP-2/9 are positively associated with Hep3B cell metastasis. The results of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), Western blotting and quantitative RT-PCR showed that CHE suppressed the expression of MMP-2/9 at both mRNA and protein levels. CHE also exhibited an inhibitory effect on the phosphorylation of Focal adhesion kinase (FAK), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), Akt, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) and p38. In summary, on Hep3B cells, CHE could change the cell cytoskeletal structures through reducing the expression of p-FAK and inhibit the metastasis of Hep3B cells by downregulating the expression of MMP-2/9 mainly through PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway.