Investigation on the effect of a triterpenoid actein on human metastatic breast cancer
Refereed conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings

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Breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer fatalities among women worldwide. Majority of these patients die of metastatic disease, which emphasizes the need for novel anti-metastatic drug. Actein, a cycloartane triterpene isolated from black cohosh and other Cimicifuga species, has been proven to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells in vitro1 as well as possess anti-angiogenic activities2. However, its anti-metastatic activities in breast cancer have not been explored. Recently, zebrafish embryos xenograft models have been established for several human cancers. In this study, we investigated the anti-metastatic activity of actein on human breast cancer cells using cell-based model as well as a zebrafish xenotransplantation model.
Human invasive breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells were used in this study. In vitro cell motility and migration were detected by scratch wound healing assay and transwell migration assay, respectively. Expressions of molecules involved in cofilin signaling were determined by western blot. For in vivo study, MDA-MB-231 cells were stained with a fluorescent dye CM-Dil prior to microinjection into the zebrafish embryos’ yolk sac3. Cancer cell dissemination in zebrafish was observed under fluorescent microscopy after 5 days incubation with different concentrations of actein. The number of migrated cells was counted using ImageJ software and embryos that exhibited more than 5 fluorescent cells distant from the yolk sac were regarded as embryo with cancer cell dissemination. The extent of metastasis was reflected as numbers of cancer cells dissemination from the injection site in different groups, also refer to the number of embryos with metastatic cells.
Actein (10-40 µM) significantly inhibited the motility and migration of MDA-MB-231 cells. Also, the expressions of molecules involved in cofilin pathway were suppressed by actein. Besides, actein (60 µM) decreased the number of zebrafish embryos with migrated cells by 83.0%, reduced the metastatic cell number by 16.5%, at 5 days post injection.
In summary, actein could induce anti-metastasis effects in breast cancer cells in vitro and decreased cancer cell migration in zebrafish embryos. Further studies in xenograft-bearing mouse model will be used to confirm the anti-metastatic effect of actein.
1. Einbond, L.S. et al. Phytomedicine, 2008, 15:504-11.
2. Yue, G.G.L. et al. Scientific Reports 2016, 6:35263.
3. Jung, D.W. et al. Molecular BioSystems, 2012, 8:1930-39.
Acceptance Date17/08/2017
All Author(s) ListXiao-Xiao Wu, Grace Gar-Lee Yue, Ming-Hua Qiu, Clara Bik-San Lau, Chun-Kwok Wong
Name of Conference13th International Postgraduate Symposium on Chinese Medicine (第十三屆國際研究生中醫藥研討會)
Start Date of Conference17/08/2017
End Date of Conference17/08/2017
Place of ConferenceHong Kong
Country/Region of ConferenceHong Kong
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

Last updated on 2019-05-06 at 10:31