Vincosamide Has a Function for Inhibiting Malignant Behaviors of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells

Ming Yue Zhu, Zhi Sun Gong, Hai Peng Feng, Qiu Yue Zhang, Kun Liu, Bo Lin, Min Ni Zhang, Hai Feng Lin, Meng Sen Li

Abstract


Background: Vincosamide (Vinco) was first identified in the methanolic extract of the leaves of Psychotria leiocarpa, and Vinco has important anti-inflammatory effects and activity against cholinesterase, Vinco also has a trait to anti-tumor. However, whether Vinco can inhibit the malignant behaviors of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells is still unclear. In the present study, we explored the role of Vinco in suppressing the malignant behaviors of HCC cells.

Methods: MTT (3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide), trypan blue exclusion assay, the Cell Counting Kit (CCK)-8 and flow cytometric analysis were applied to detect the proliferation and apoptosis of HCC cells; electron microscopy was performed to observe the change of cellular mitochondrial morphology; scratch repair and Transwell assays were used to analyze the migration and invasion of HCC cells; expression and localization of proteins were detected by laser confocal microscopy and Western blotting; the growth of the cancer cells in vivo was assessed in a mouse tumorous model.

Results: At a dose of 10 - 80 µg/mL, Vinco inhibited the proliferation, migration, invasion and promoted apoptosis of HCC cells in a dose-dependent manner but had low cytotoxicity effect on normal liver cells. Additionally, 80 µg/mL of Vinco could significantly disrupt the morphology of mitochondria, suppress the migration and invasion of HCC cells. The growth of HCC cells in the animal tumorous model was significantly inhibited after treatment with Vinco (10 mg/kg/day) for 3 days. The results of the present study indicated that Vinco (10 - 80 µg/mL) played a role in activating caspase-3, promoting the expression of phosphate and tension homology deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN), and inhibiting the phosphorylation of AKT (Ser473) and mTOR (Thr2448); Vinco also has a trait for suppressing the expression of CXCR4, Src, MMP9, EpCAM, Ras, Oct4 and cancer stem cell “stemness markers” CD133 and CD44 in HCC cells.

Conclusions: Vinco has a role in inhibiting the malignant behaviors of HCC cells; the role molecular mechanism of Vinco may be involved in restraining expression of the growth-, metastasis-related factors, such as Src, Ras, MMP9, EpCAM, CXCR4; activating the activity of caspase-3 and blocking PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. Thus, Vinco should be considered as a new chemotherapy agent for HCC patients.




World J Oncol. 2022;13(5):272-288
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/wjon1514

Keywords


Vincosamide; Chemotherapy; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Malignant behaviors; Cell signal pathway

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