Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

Emodin reduces Breast Cancer Lung Metastasis by suppressing Macrophage-induced Breast Cancer Cell Epithelial-mesenchymal transition and Cancer Stem Cell formation.

Abstract Source:

Theranostics. 2020 ;10(18):8365-8381. Epub 2020 Jul 9. PMID: 32724475

Abstract Author(s):

Qing Liu, Johnie Hodge, Junfeng Wang, Yuzhen Wang, Lianming Wang, Udai Singh, Yong Li, Yongzhong Yao, Dawei Wang, Walden Ai, Prakash Nagarkatti, Hexin Chen, Peisheng Xu, E Angela Murphy, Daping Fan

Article Affiliation:

Qing Liu


Our previous studies demonstrated that the natural compound emodin blocks the tumor-promoting feedforward interactions between cancer cells and macrophages, and thus ameliorates the immunosuppressive state of the tumor microenvironment. Since tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) also affect epithelial mesenchymal-transition (EMT) and cancer stem cell (CSC) formation, here we aimed to test if emodin as a neoadjuvant therapy halts breast cancer metastasis by attenuating TAM-induced EMT and CSC formation of breast cancer cells.Bioinformatical analysis was performed to examine the correlation between macrophage abundance and EMT/CSC markers in human breast tumors. Cell culture and co-culture studies were performed to test if emodin suppresses TGF-β1 or macrophage-induced EMT and CSC formation of breast cancer cells, and if it inhibits breast cancer cell migration and invasion. Using mouse models, we tested if short-term administration of emodin before surgical removal of breast tumors halts breast cancer post-surgery metastatic recurrence in the lungs. The effects of emodin on TGF-β1 signaling pathways in breast cancer cells were examined by western blots and immunofluorescent imaging.Macrophage abundance positively correlates with EMT and CSC markers in human breast tumors. Emodin suppressed TGF-β1 production in breast cancer cells and macrophages and attenuated TGF-β1 or macrophage-induced EMT and CSC formation of breast cancer cells. Short-term administration of emodin before surgery halted breast cancer post-surgery metastatic recurrence in the lungs by reducing tumor-promoting macrophages and suppressing EMT and CSC formation in the primary tumors. Mechanistic studies revealed that emodin inhibited both canonical and noncanonical TGF-β1 signaling pathways in breast cancer cells and suppressed transcription factors key to EMT and CSC.Natural compound emodin suppresses EMT and CSC formation of breast cancer cells by blocking TGF-β1-mediated crosstalk between TAMs and breast cancer cells. Our study provides evidence suggesting that emodin harbors the potential for clinical development as a new effective and safe agent to halt metastatic recurrence of breast cancer.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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Sayer Ji
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