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Effect of Lycopene on Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cell Growth by Inhibiting IGF1 Pathway

Authors Tao A, Wang X, Li C

Received 25 September 2020

Accepted for publication 5 January 2021

Published 26 January 2021 Volume 2021:13 Pages 723—732


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Antonella D'Anneo

Anqi Tao,1,* Xing Wang,2,* Cuiying Li1

1Central Laboratory, Peking University School and Hospital of Stomatology, Beijing 100081, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Stomatology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Cuiying Li Email

Purpose: Lycopene has produced robust clinical effects and shows a promising chemopreventive in the oral cancer and precancerous lesions. However, much is still unknown about its mechanisms of the carotenoid in protecting against oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) pathway serves as a key regulatory signal pathway in the tumor microenvironment, which may be associated with the angiogenesis, tumorigenicity, and cancer proliferation. The current study was focused on elucidating the potential pathway played for lycopene to exert its function in treating with OSCC.
Materials and Methods: Firstly, we explored the dose- and time-response of CAL-27 and WSU-HN6 cells to lycopene. Both cells were incubated with various concentrations of lycopene (0.25, 0.5, 1, 2 μM). The inhibiting rate of cell proliferation was assessed using MTT assay. To observe the regulating effect of lycopene on OSCC, cell migration, apoptosis and tumor formation were detected in vitro and in vivo. The potential signaling pathways of OSCC cells treated with lycopene were analyzed by Affymetrix microarrays. And then, we investigated the changing of IGF1 signaling pathway, on the protein levels of tumor tissue after lycopene.
Results: Cell proliferation was inhibited by lycopene in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The optimum inhibition efficiencies for OSCC cells were also found. Further, the results also demonstrated that pre-treatment of OSCC with lycopene drastically induced cell apoptosis suppresses cell migration and tumor growth. Mechanistically, ingenuity pathway analysis further revealed that IGF1 pathway participate in killing effects on OSCC after treatment of lycopene. Lycopene may inhibit the pathway by regulating protein expression of IGF1, IGF binding protein (BP) 1, IGFBP3, transcription factor Jun/AP-1 (JUN), and forkhead box O1 (FOXO1).
Conclusion: These observations indicate that lycopene regulates OSCC cell growth by inhibiting IGF1 pathway, which may be a promising agent for the treatment of OSCC.

Keywords: lycopene, insulin-like growth factor 1, oral squamous cell carcinoma, cell proliferation

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