Palbociclib inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition and metastasis in breast cancer via c-Jun/COX-2 signaling pathway

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Abstract

Palbociclib, a highly selective CDK4/6 inhibitor, has been shown to be a novel anti-tumor agent that suppresses breast cancer cell proliferation. However, its antimetastasis activity remains controversial. In the present study, we evaluated whether palbociclib prevented breast cancer cell metastasis and revealed its regulatory mechanism. We found that palbociclib inhibited migration and invasion in the breast cancer cells MDA-MB-231 and T47D. The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers, vimentin and Snail, were down-regulated with palbociclib treatment. Moreover, we revealed that this inhibition was mediated by the c-Jun/COX-2 pathway. COX-2 was decreased after palbociclib treatment. The production of PGE2 was also reduced along with COX-2. Additionally, our data showed that c-Jun, a crucial transcriptional regulator of COX-2, was down-regulated by palbociclib. We found that palbociclib weakened the COX-2 promoter binding activity of c-Jun and prevented its translocation from the cytoplasm to cell nuclei. Bioluminescence imaging and tail intravenous injection were used to evaluate the anti-metastasis effect of palbociclib in vivo. The data demonstrated that palbociclib reduced breast cancer metastasis to the lung. These results therefore demonstrated that the anti-metastasis activity of palbociclib is mediated via the c-Jun/COX-2 signaling pathway by inhibiting EMT in breast cancer cells.

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Qin, G., Xu, F., Qin, T., Zheng, Q., Shi, D., Xia, W., … Wang, S. (2015). Palbociclib inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition and metastasis in breast cancer via c-Jun/COX-2 signaling pathway. Oncotarget, 6(39), 41794–41808. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5993

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