J Cancer Prev 2021; 26(3): 183-194
Published online September 30, 2021
© Korean Society of Cancer Prevention
1College of Pharmacy, Natural Products Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, 2Department of Food and Nutrition, Kyungnam University, Changwon, Korea
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Dioscin (DS), a steroidal saponin, has been shown to have anti-cancer activity by exerting antioxidant effects and inducing apoptosis. However, the anti-cancer activity of DS in breast cancer-derived stem cells is still controversial. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of DS on migration, invasion, and colony formation in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cell lines and the mechanism by which it inhibits proliferation of breast cancer stem-like cells after inducing differentiation into breast cancer stem cells. DS treatment significantly reduced cellular migration, invasion, and colony formation in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells. During the differentiation process that induced manifestation of breast cancer stem-like cells, DS significantly inhibited mammosphere formation in a dose-dependent manner and increased the expression of p53 and p21 in breast cancer stem-like cells, reducing the expression of cdc2 and cyclin B1 in MDA-MB-231 cells and cyclin D, cyclin E, CDK4, and CDK2 in MCF-7 cells. Interestingly, DS treatment induced G2/M and G0/G1 cell cycle arrest in the MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells, respectively. DS also increased the phosphorylation of p38 and decreased the expression levels of p-AKT and p-mTOR. These results suggest that DS regulates the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and AKT/mTOR signaling pathways to reduce the proliferation of breast cancer stem-like cells through cell cycle arrest. Therefore, these findings suggest that DS may serve as a potential treatment candidate targeting breast cancer stem cells.
Keywords: Dioscin, Breast cancer, AKT/mTOR
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