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Quercetin inhibits epithelial–mesenchymal transition, decreases invasiveness and metastasis, and reverses IL-6 induced epithelial–mesenchymal transition, expression of MMP by inhibiting STAT3 signaling in pancreatic cancer cells

Authors Yu D, Ye T, Xiang Y, Shi Z, Zhang J, Lou B, Zhang F, Chen B, Zhou M

Received 12 March 2017

Accepted for publication 20 May 2017

Published 25 September 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 4719—4729

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S136840

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Samir Farghaly

Dinglai Yu,1 Tingting Ye,1 Yukai Xiang,1 Zhehao Shi,1 Jie Zhang,1 Bin Lou,1 Fan Zhang,1 Bicheng Chen,1,2 Mengtao Zhou1

1Department of Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China; 2Zhejiang Provincial Top Key Discipline in Surgery, Wenzhou Key Laboratory of Surgery, Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Quercetin, a flavone, is multifaceted, having anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. In the present study, we explored the effects of quercetin on the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and invasion of pancreatic cancer cells and the underlying mechanisms. We noted that quercetin exerted pronounced inhibitory effects in PANC-1 and PATU-8988 cells. Moreover, quercetin inhibited EMT and decreased the secretion of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP). Meanwhile, we determined the activity of STAT3 after quercetin treatment. STAT3 phosphorylation decreased following treatment with quercetin. We also used activating agent of STAT3, IL-6, to induce an increase in cell malignancy and to observe the effects of treatment with quercetin. As expected, the EMT and MMP secretion increased with activation of the STAT3 signaling pathway, and quercetin reversed IL-6-induced EMT, invasion, and migration. Therefore, our results demonstrate that quercetin triggers inhibition of EMT, invasion, and metastasis by blocking the STAT3 signaling pathway, and thus, quercetin merits further investigation.

Keywords: quercetin, EMT, MMPs, STAT3, pancreatic cancer

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