Inhibitory Effects of Tangeretin, A Citrus Peel-Derived Flavonoid, on Breast Cancer Stem Cell Formation through Suppression of Stat3 Signaling.
Molecules. 2020 Jun 3 ;25(11). Epub 2020 Jun 3. PMID: 32503228
Breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) are responsible for tumor chemoresistance and recurrence. Targeting CSCs using natural compounds is a novel approach for cancer therapy. A CSC-inhibiting compound was purified from citrus extracts using silica gel, gel filtration and high-pressure liquid chromatography. The purified compound was identified as tangeretin by using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Tangeretin inhibited cell proliferation, CSC formation and tumor growth, and modestly induced apoptosis in CSCs. The frequency of a subpopulation with a CSC phenotype (CD44/CD24) was reduced by tangeretin. Tangeretin reduced the total level and phosphorylated nuclear level of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3). Our results in this study show that tangeretin inhibits the Stat3 signaling pathway and induces CSC death, indicating that tangeretin may be a potential natural compound that targets breast cancer cells and CSCs.