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Luteolin inhibits lung metastasis, cell migration, and viability of triple-negative breast cancer cells

Authors Cook MT, Liang Y, Besch-Williford C, Hyder SM

Received 17 October 2016

Accepted for publication 17 November 2016

Published 23 December 2016 Volume 2017:9 Pages 9—19


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pranela Rameshwar

Matthew T Cook,1,2 Yayun Liang,1,2 Cynthia Besch-Williford,3 Salman M Hyder1,2

1Department of Biomedical Sciences, 2Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Missouri, 3IDEXX BioResearch, Columbia, MO, USA

Abstract: Most breast cancer-related deaths from triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) occur following metastasis of cancer cells and development of tumors at secondary sites. Because TNBCs lack the three receptors targeted by current chemotherapeutic regimens, they are typically treated with extremely aggressive and highly toxic non-targeted treatment strategies. Women with TNBC frequently develop metastatic lesions originating from drug-resistant residual cells and have poor prognosis. For this reason, novel therapeutic strategies that are safer and more effective are sought. Luteolin (LU) is a naturally occurring, non-toxic plant compound that has proven effective against several types of cancer. With this in mind, we conducted in vivo and in vitro studies to determine whether LU might suppress metastasis of TNBC. In an in vivo mouse metastasis model, LU suppressed metastasis of human MDA-MB-435 and MDA-MB-231 (4175) LM2 TNBC cells to the lungs. In in vitro assays, LU inhibited cell migration and viability of MDA-MB-435 and MDA-MB-231 (4175) LM2 cells. Further, LU induced apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 (4175) LM2 cells. Relatively low levels (10 µM) of LU significantly inhibited vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion in MDA-MB-231 (4175) LM2 cells, suggesting that it has the ability to suppress a potent angiogenic and cell survival factor. In addition, migration of MDA-MB-231 (4175) LM2 cells was inhibited upon exposure to an antibody against the VEGF receptor, KDR, but not by exposure to a VEGF165 antibody. Collectively, these data suggest that the anti-metastatic properties of LU may, in part, be due to its ability to block VEGF production and KDR-mediated activity, thereby inhibiting tumor cell migration. These studies suggest that LU deserves further investigation as a potential treatment option for women with TNBC.

Keywords: luteolin, triple-negative breast cancer, metastasis, cell migration, apoptosis, VEGF

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