Curcumol inhibits EBV-positive Nasopharyngeal carcinoma migration and invasion by targeting nucleolin.
Biochem Pharmacol. 2021 Aug 21 ;192:114742. Epub 2021 Aug 21. PMID: 34428442
Metastasis is a major cause of recurrence and death in patients with EBV-positive Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Previous reports documented that curcumol has both anti-cancer and anti-viral effects, but there is little literature systematically addressing the mechanism of curcumol in EBV-positive tumors. Previously we found that nucelolin (NCL) is a target protein of curcumol in CNE2 cells, an EBV-negative NPC, and in this experiment, we reported a critical role for NCL in promoting migration and invasion of C666-1 cells, an EBV-positive NPC, and found that the expression of NCL determined the level of curcumol's efficacy. Mechanistically, NCL interacted with Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigen 1 (EBNA1) to activate VEGFA/VEGFR1/PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, which in turn promoted NPC cell invasion and metastasis. Moreover, further study showed that the differential expression of NCL and curcumol intervention only had a regulatory effect on the nuclear accumulation of VEGFR1, which strengthened the anti-cancer effect of curcumol mediated through NCL. Our findings indicated that curcumol exerted anti EBV-positive NPC invasion and metastasis by downregulating EBNA1 and inhibiting VEGFA/VEGFR1/PI3K/AKT signaling by targeting NCL, which provides a novel pharmacological basis for curcumol's clinical use in treating patients with EBV-positive NPC.