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Anti-Proliferative, Pro-Apoptotic, Anti-Migrative and Tumor-Inhibitory Effects and Pleiotropic Mechanism of Theaflavin on B16F10 Melanoma Cells

Authors Zhang L, Meng S, Yan B, Chen J, Zhou L, Shan L, Wang Y

Received 12 October 2020

Accepted for publication 10 February 2021

Published 25 February 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 1291—1304

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S286350

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Leo Jen-Liang Su


Lei Zhang,1,* Shijie Meng,2,* Bo Yan,2,* Jie Chen,2 Li Zhou,2 Letian Shan,2 Ying Wang3

1School of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Zhejiang University of Science and Technology, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China; 2The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China; 3School of Basic Medicine, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Letian Shan
The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, No. 548 Binwen Road, Binjiang District, Hangzhou, 310053, People’s Republic of China
Email [email protected]
Ying Wang
School of Basic Medicine, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, No. 548 Binwen Road, Binjiang District, Hangzhou, 310053, People’s Republic of China
Email [email protected]

Purpose: Theaflavin (TF) is a primary pigment of tea, exhibiting anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic and anti-metastatic activities on cancer cell lines. However, it is unknown whether TF is effective in treating melanoma cells.
Methods: To determine the effects of TF on melanoma cells, we conducted in vitro assays of cell viability, DAPI staining, wound healing, transwell, and flow cytometry as well as in vivo experiments on B16F10-bearing mouse model. Real-time PCR (qPCR) and Western blot (WB) were conducted to explore the molecular actions of TF.
Results: The cell viability assay showed that TF exerted inhibitory effect on B16F10 cells in a dose-dependent manner from 40 to 400 μg/mL, with IC50 values ranging from 223.8± 7.1 to 103.7± 7.0 μg/mL. Moreover, TF induced early and late apoptosis and inhibited migration/invasion of B16F10 cells in a dose-dependent manner, indicating its pro-apoptotic and anti-migrative effects. In vivo, TF significantly inhibited B16F10 tumor size in mice model from 40 to 120 mg/kg, which exerted higher effect than that of cisplatin. The molecular data showed that TF significantly up-regulated the mRNA expressions of pro-apoptotic genes (Bax, Casp3, Casp8, c-fos, c-Jun, and c-Myc), up-regulated the protein expressions of apoptosis-related p53 and JNK signaling molecules (ASK1, phosphorylated Chk1/2, cleaved caspase 3, phosphorylated JNK, c-JUN, cleaved PARP, and phosphorylated p53), and down-regulated the protein expressions of proliferation-related MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT signaling molecules (phosphorylated MEK1/2, phosphorylated ERK1/2, phosphorylated PI3K, and phosphorylated AKT) as well as the expressions of MMP2 and MMP9.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that TB exhibited anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic, anti-migrative, and tumor-inhibitory effects on melanoma cells through pleiotropic actions on the above pathways. This study provides new evidence of anti-melanoma efficacy and mechanism of TF, contributing to the development of TF-derived natural products for melanoma therapy.

Keywords: theaflavin, apoptosis, B16F10, melanoma, JNK, p53

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