Disulfiram (DSF), an anti-alcoholism drug, has been reported as an inhibitor of NF-κB. NF-κB is involved in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and self- renewal of breast cancer stem cells (CSCs). In this study, we treated MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells with TGF-β to induce EMT and cancer stem-like features and studied whether DSF can reverse this process. We found that DSF inhibited TGF-β induced EMT in breast cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner. Also, DSF inhibited EMT-associated stem-like features, migration and invasion of tumor cells as well as tumor growth in xenograft model. The activation of NF-κB was linked with EMT and stem-like cells. We conclude that DSF can suppress NF-κB activity and downregulate ERK/NF-κB/Snail pathway, leading to reverse EMT and stem-like features. Our data suggest that DSF inhibits EMT and stem-like properties in breast cancer cells associated with inhibition of the ERK/NF-κB/Snail pathway.
Han, D., Wu, G., Chang, C., Zhu, F., Xiao, Y., Li, Q., … Zhang, L. (2015). Disulfiram inhibits TGF-β-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition and stem-like features in breast cancer via ERK/NF-κB/Snail pathway. Oncotarget, 6(38), 40907–40919. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5723