Cells. 2021 Jun 12 ;10(6). Epub 2021 Jun 12. PMID: 34204745
Xanthohumol Impairs the PMA-Driven Invasive Behaviour of Lung Cancer Cell Line A549 and Exerts Anti-EMT Action.
Xanthohumol (XN), the main prenylated flavonoid from hop cones, has been recently reported to exert significant proapoptotic, anti-proliferative, and growth inhibitory effects against lung cancer in both in vitro and in vivo studies. However, its anti-metastatic potential towards this malignancy is still unrevealed. Previously, we indicated that the human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cell line was sensitive to XN treatment. Therefore, using the same tumour cell model, we have studied the influence of XN on the phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA)-induced cell migration and invasion. The effects of XN on the expression/activity of pro-invasive MMP-9 and MMP-2 and the expression of MMP inhibitors, i.e., TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 (anti-angiogenic factors), were evaluated. Additionally, the influence of XN on the production of the key pro-angiogenic cytokine, i.e., VEGF, and the release of TGF-β, which is both a pro-angiogenic cytokine and an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) stimulator, was studied. Furthermore, the influence of XN on the expression of EMT-associated proteins such as E-cadherin and α-E-catenin (epithelial markers), vimentin and N-cadherin (mesenchymal markers), and Snail-1 (transcriptional repressor of E-cadherin) was studied. To elucidate the molecular mechanism underpinning the XN-mediated inhibition of metastatic progression in PMA-activated cells, the phosphorylation levels of AKT, FAK, and ERK1/2 kinases, which are signalling molecules involved in EMTprogram activation, were assayed. The results showed that XN in non-cytotoxic concentrations impaired the PMA-driven migratory and invasive capacity of A549 cells by decreasing the level of expression of MMP-9 and concomitantly increasing the expression of the TIMP-1 protein, i.e., a specific blocker of pro-MMP-9 activation. Moreover, XN decreased the PMA-induced production of VEGF and TGF-β. Furthermore, the XN-treatment counteracted the PMA-induced EMT of the A549 cells by the upregulation of E-cadherin and α-E-catenin and the downregulation of N-cadherin, vimentin, and Snail-1 expression.The proposed mechanism underlying the anti-invasive XN activity involved the inhibition of the ERK/MAPK pathway and suppression of FAK and PI3/AKT signalling. Our results suggesting migrastatic properties of XN against lung cancer cells require further verification in in vivo assays.