Quercetin Inhibits Cell Survival and Metastatic Ability via the EMT-mediated Pathway in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
Molecules. 2020 Feb 10 ;25(3). Epub 2020 Feb 10. PMID: 32050534
So Ra Kim
This study aimed to investigate whether quercetin exerts anticancer effects on oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cell lines and to elucidate its mechanism of action. These anticancer effects in OSCC cells were assessed using an MTT assay, flow cytometry (to assess the cell cycle), wound-healing assay, invasion assay, Western blot analysis, gelatin zymography, and immunofluorescence. To investigate whether quercetin also inhibits transforming growth factorβ1 (TGF-β1)-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in human keratinocyte cells, HaCaT cells were treated with TGF-β1. Overall, our results strongly suggest that quercetin suppressed the viability of OSCC cells by inducing cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase. However, quercetin did not affect cell viability of human keratinocytes such as HaCaT (immortal keratinocyte) and nHOK (primary normal human oral keratinocyte) cells. Additionally, quercetin suppresses cell migration through EMT and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) in OSCC cells and decreases TGF-β1-induced EMT in HaCaT cells. In conclusion, this study is the first, to our knowledge, to demonstrate that quercetin can inhibit the survival and metastatic ability of OSCC cells via the EMT-mediated pathway, specifically Slug. Quercetin may thus provide a novel pharmacological approach for the treatment of OSCCs.