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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Oncol. | doi: 10.3389/fonc.2019.01234

Methyl-cantharidimide inhibits growth of human hepatocellular carcinoma cells by inducing cell cycle arrest and promoting cell apoptosis

Xiangzhong Huang1, Wen Xie2, Xiaofan Yu2, Caiyun Fan2, Jin Wang2, Yi Cao2 and  Jianxiang Li2*
  • 1Jiangyin People's Hospital, China
  • 2School of Public Health, Soochow University Medical College, China

Methyl-Cantharidimide (MCA) is a derivative of cantharidin which has potential anticancer activity. This study investigates the effect of MCA on the growth and metastasis of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. Human HCC HepG2 and Hep3B2.1-7 cells, and normal hepatocytes (L02) were treated with a series of concentrations of MCA. The proliferative ability of these cells was examined by CCK-8 assay. Cell cycle and cell apoptosis were determined using Flow Cytometry. The effect of MCA on cell migration and invasion was evaluated through scratch wound healing and transwell migration assays. Furthermore, Western blot was used to evaluate biomarkers associated with cell cycle and apoptosis. It was found that: (i) MCA inhibited cell proliferation in HCC cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner; (ii) MCA arrested HCC cells in G-1 phase cell cycle; (iii) MCA induced HCC cells apoptosis; (iv) MCA inhibited the migration ability of HCC cells; and (v)MCA treatment significantly increased cleaved-caspase3 and decreased NF-κB protein in HCC cells. These results suggest that MCA has cytotoxic effect on HCC cells. Its mechanism of action is by inducing cell cycle arrest and promoting cell apoptosis through activating caspace-3 and inhibiting NF-κB. MAC could be developed into a novel drug for the treatment of human hepatocellular carcinoma.

Keywords: Methyl-cantharidimide (MCA), Cantharidin (CTD), Hepatocellular Carcinoma, cell growth, invasion

Received: 22 Aug 2019; Accepted: 28 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Huang, Xie, Yu, Fan, Wang, Cao and Li. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Jianxiang Li, School of Public Health, Soochow University Medical College, Suzhou, 215123, Jiangsu Province, China, aljxcr@suda.edu.cn