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Synergism from the combination of ulinastatin and curcumin offers greater inhibition against colorectal cancer liver metastases via modulating matrix metalloproteinase-9 and E-cadherin expression

Authors Shen F, Cai W, Li J, Feng Z, Liu Q, Xiao H, Cao J, Xu B, Chen J

Received 6 November 2013

Accepted for publication 3 January 2014

Published 18 February 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 305—314

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S57126

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5


Fei Shen,1 Wen-Song Cai,1 Jiang-Lin Li,1 Zhe Feng,1 Qi-cai Liu,2 Huan-qing Xiao,1 Jie Cao,1 Bo Xu1

1Department of General Surgery, Guangzhou First People's Hospital, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China; 2Experimental Medical Research Center, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China

Abstract: Liver metastasis is a major cause of mortality in colorectal cancer (CRC). The current study was to investigate the ability of ulinastatin (UTI) and curcumin (CUR) to inhibit CRC liver metastases via modulating matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and E-cadherin expression. Human CRC HCT-116 cells were treated with compounds individually and in combination in order to understand the effect on cell migration and invasion. The HCT-116 cell line was established to stably express luciferase and green fluorescent protein (GFP) by lentiviral transduction (HCT-116-Luc-GFP). We identified an anti-metastasis effect of UTI and CUR on a CRC liver metastasis mouse model. Tumor development and therapeutic responses were dynamically tracked by bioluminescence imaging. Expression of MMP-9 and E-cadherin in metastatic tumors was detected by immunohistochemical assay. Results of wound healing and cell invasion assays suggest that treatment with UTI, CUR, and UTI plus CUR, respectively, significantly inhibit HCT-116 cell migration and invasion. Furthermore, results of CRC hepatic metastasis on a nude mouse model showed that treatment with UTI, CUR alone, and a combination notably inhibited hepatic metastases from CRC and prolonged survival of tumor-bearing mice, especially in the UTI plus CUR group. These results suggest that the combination of UTI and CUR together may offer greater inhibition against metastasis of CRC.


Keywords: hepatic metastasis, bioluminescence imaging, therapy

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