Honokiol inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition in breast cancer cells by targeting signal transducer and activator of transcription 3/Zeb1/E-cadherin axis

Dimiter B. Avtanski, Arumugam Nagalingam, Michael Y. Bonner, Jack L. Arbiser, Neeraj K. Saxena, Dipali Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a critical step in the acquisition of metastatic state, is an attractive target for therapeutic interventions directed against tumor metastasis. Honokiol (HNK) is a natural phenolic compound isolated from an extract of seed cones from Magnolia grandiflora. Recent studies from our lab show that HNK impedes breast carcinogenesis. Here, we provide molecular evidence that HNK inhibits EMT in breast cancer cells resulting in significant downregulation of mesenchymal marker proteins and concurrent upregulation of epithelial markers. Experimental EMT induced by exposure to TGFβ and TNFα in spontaneously immortalized nontumorigenic human mammary epithelial cells is also completely reversed by HNK as evidenced by morphological as well as molecular changes. Investigating the downstream mediator(s) that may direct EMT inhibition by HNK, we found functional interactions between HNK, Stat3, and EMT-signaling components. Invitro and invivo analyses show that HNK inhibits Stat3 activation in breast cancer cells and tumors. Constitutive activation of Stat3 abrogates HNK-mediated activation of epithelial markers whereas inhibition of Stat3 using small molecule inhibitor, Stattic, potentiates HNK-mediated inhibition of EMT markers, invasion and migration of breast cancer cells. Mechanistically, HNK inhibits recruitment of Stat3 on mesenchymal transcription factor Zeb1 promoter resulting in decreased Zeb1 expression and nuclear translocation. We also discover that HNK increases E-cadherin expression via Stat3-mediated release of Zeb1 from E-cadherin promoter. Collectively, this study reports that HNK effectively inhibits EMT in breast cancer cells and provide evidence for a previously unrecognized cross-talk between HNK and Stat3/Zeb1/E-cadherin axis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-580
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular Oncology
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

STAT3 Transcription Factor
Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
Cadherins
Breast Neoplasms
honokiol
Breast
Magnolia
Seeds

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • E-cadherin
  • EMT
  • Honokiol
  • Stat3
  • Zeb1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Honokiol inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition in breast cancer cells by targeting signal transducer and activator of transcription 3/Zeb1/E-cadherin axis. / Avtanski, Dimiter B.; Nagalingam, Arumugam; Bonner, Michael Y.; Arbiser, Jack L.; Saxena, Neeraj K.; Sharma, Dipali.

In: Molecular Oncology, Vol. 8, No. 3, 2014, p. 565-580.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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