Different mechanisms involved in the berberine-induced antiproliferation effects in triple-negative breast cancer cell lines.
J Cell Biochem. 2019 Apr 7. Epub 2019 Apr 7. PMID: 30957305
BACKGROUND/AIM: Berberine (BBR) is known to be effective at inhibiting cell proliferation and promoting apoptosis in various cancer cells. However, the effects of BBR on triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells remain unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the cell inhibition effects of BBR on different subtypes of TNBC cells.
METHODS: Using human TNBC cell lines of different subtypes, namely, MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, MDA-MB-453, and BT-549 as in vitro models, antiproliferative effects of BBR were investigated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay, trypan blue exclusion assay, and clonogenic assay. Furthermore, cell apoptosis and autophagy were analyzed by flow cytometry, immunofluorescent staining, and LC3 I/II-targeted Western blotting. Various cell growth-related signaling pathways (AKT/ERK/p38) and the expression of proteins present in various cell cycle kinase complexes were analyzed by Western blotting.
RESULTS: BBR concentration-dependently suppressed cell proliferation in MDA-MB-468 (0, 3, 6, and 12 μM) and MDA-MB-231 (0, 6.25, 12.5, and 25 μM). The inhibitory effect was not brought about by inducing cell apoptosis, necrosis, or autophagy. Cell cycle analysis disclosed an increased S+G2/M fraction among the BBR-treated MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-453 cells; while with the BBR-treated MDA-MB-468 and BT-549 lines, an increased G0/G1 fraction was found. In MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-453 cells, by Western blotting, BBR decreased the expression of Cyclin A and CDK1, On the other hand, in BBR-treated MDA-MB-468 and BT-549 cells, there was a decrease in Cyclin D and CDK4 expression.
CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate that the antiproliferation effects of BBR occur via different mechanisms in different subtypes of TNBC cells, which suggests that BBR has potential as a personalized treatment for TNBC patients.