Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester (CAPE) mediated decrease in metastasis of colon cancer cells: an in vitro and in vivo study

  • Weiqiang Wu
  • Feng Gao
  • Xi Heng
  • Feng Song
  • Yong Zhao
  • Ming Xu
  • Xin Zhang
  • Zengqiang Yang
Keywords: CAPE, colon cancer, SW-480, CT-26, anti-metastatic


Background: Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a phytochemically active component obtained from honeybee hive propolis. CAPE has been reported to show antimitogenic, anticancer, and other beneficial medicinal properties. Many of its activities have been reported to be mediated by inhibiting levels of matrix metalloproteinase, that is, MMP-2 and MMP-9. We hypothesize the effect of CAPE on the metastasis of colon cancer cells in both in vitro and in vivo.

Methods: Cell migration, motility, invasion were evaluated also expression of protein and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) such as MMP-2 and MMP-9 were measured in SW-480 cancer cells in vitro. The cells were exposed to Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and were treated with various concentration of CAPE.

Results: The treatment of CAPE caused significant decrease (P<0.05) in both cell motility and invasion. The treatment of CAPE inhibited activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 and their protein with increasing dose in SW-480 cancerous cells. Antimetastatic activity was evaluated in vivo in BALB/c mice by injecting them with CT-26 mouse colon cancer cells via tail vein and were treated with CAPE (20 mg/kg) orally for 21 days. The CAPE treatment significantly (P<0.05) reduced count of pulmonary nodules. The mice showed decreased plasma MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity after 21 days treatment with CAPE.

Conclusion: The study suggested beneficial role of CAPE in preventing invasion of colon cancer and metastasis via MMP- 2 and MMP-9 mediated pathway.

Keywords: CAPE, colon cancer, SW-480, CT-26, anti-metastatic


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eISSN: 0189-6016