Malignant melanoma is responsible for approximately 75% of skin cancer-related deaths. BRAF plays an important role in regulating the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling cascade in melanoma with activating mutations in the serine/threonine kinase BRAF occurring in 60-70% of malignant melanomas. The BRAF-MEK-ERK (MAPK) pathway is a key regulator of melanoma cell invasion. In addition, activation of NFκB via the MAPK pathway is regulated through MEK-induced activation of IKK. These pathways are potential targets for prevention and treatment of melanoma. In this study, we investigated the effect of fisetin, a phytochemical present in fruits and vegetables, on melanoma cell invasion and epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and delineated the underlying molecular mechanism. Treatment of multiple human malignant melanoma cell lines with fisetin (5-20 μM) resulted in inhibition of cell invasion. BRAF mutated melanoma cells were more sensitive to fisetin treatment, and this was associated with a decrease in the phosphorylation of MEK1/2 and ERK1/2. In addition, fisetin inhibited the activation of IKK leading to a reduction in the activation of the NFκB signaling pathway. Treatment of cells with an inhibitor of MEK1/2 (PD98059) or of NFκB (caffeic acid phenethyl ester) also reduced melanoma cell invasion. Furthermore, treatment of fisetin promoted mesenchymal to epithelial transition in melanoma cells, which was associated with a decrease in mesenchymal markers (N-cadherin, vimentin, snail and fibronectin) and an increase in epithelial markers (E-cadherin and desmoglein). Employing three dimensional skin equivalents consisting of A375 cells admixed with normal human keratinocytes embedded onto a collagen-constricted fibroblast matrix, we found that treatment of fisetin reduced the invasive potential of melanoma cells into the dermis and increased the expression of E-cadherin with a concomitant decrease in vimentin. These results indicate that fisetin inhibits melanoma cell invasion through promotion of mesenchymal to epithelial transition and by targeting MAPK and NFκB signaling pathways. © 2014 Pal et al.
Pal, H. C., Sharma, S., Strickland, L. R., Katiyar, S. K., Ballestas, M. E., Athar, M., … Afaq, F. (2014). Fisetin inhibits human melanoma cell invasion through promotion of mesenchymal to epithelial transition and by targeting MAPK and NFκB signaling pathways. PLoS ONE, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0086338