Indexed on: 06 Aug '14Published on: 06 Aug '14Published in: Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Flavonoids exert extensive in vitro anti-invasive and in vivo anti-metastatic activities. Anoikis resistance occurs at multiple key stages of the metastatic cascade. Here, we demonstrate that isoliquiritigenin (ISL), a flavonoid from Glycyrrhiza glabra, inhibits human breast cancer metastasis by preventing anoikis resistance, migration and invasion through downregulating cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and cytochrome P450 (CYP) 4A signaling. ISL induced anoikis in MDA-MB-231 and BT-549 human breast cancer cells as evidenced by flow cytometry and the detection of caspase cleavage. Moreover, ISL inhibited the mRNA expression of phospholipase A2, COX-2 and CYP 4A and decreased the secretion of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) in detached MDA-MB-231 cells. In addition, it decreased the levels of phospho-PI3K (Tyr(458)), phospho-PDK (Ser(241)) and phospho-Akt (Thr(308)). Conversely, the exogenous addition of PGE2, WIT003 (a 20-HETE analog) and an EP4 agonist (CAY10580) or overexpression of constitutively active Akt reversed ISL-induced anoikis. ISL exerted the in vitro anti-migratory and anti-invasive activities, whereas the addition of PGE2, WIT003 and CAY10580 or overexpression of constitutively active Akt reversed the in vitro anti-migratory and anti-invasive activities of ISL in MDA-MB-231 cells. Notably, ISL inhibited the in vivo lung metastasis of MDA-MB-231 cells, together with decreased intratumoral levels of PGE2, 20-HETE and phospho-Akt (Thr(308)). In conclusion, ISL inhibits breast cancer metastasis by preventing anoikis resistance, migration and invasion via downregulating COX-2 and CYP 4A signaling. It suggests that ISL could be a promising multi-target agent for preventing breast cancer metastasis, and anoikis could represent a novel mechanism through which flavonoids may exert the anti-metastatic activities.