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Involvement of Wnt/β-catenin pathway in the inhibition of invasion and epithelial-mesenchymal transition in ovarian cancer cells

Belikiz Ekem
Wei Gong
Lu Han
Xinmei Wang
Na Liu
Li Wan
Qin Guo


Purpose: To investigate the effects of zerumbone on cell invasion, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the potential signaling pathway involved in ovarian cancer cells.
Methods: Caov-3 cell proliferation was assessed using 3-(4,5)-dimethylthiahiazo (-z-y1)-3,5-diphenytetrazoliumromide (MTT) assay. Wound healing assay was used to determine Caov-3 cell migration while cell invasion was evaluated using Transwell assay. Protein expression was determined
by western blot.
Results: Cell viability was reduced by 5, 10, 20, and 50 μM zerumbone (p < 0.05) in a concentrationdependent manner while cell migration and invasion were inhibited by 10 and 20 μM zerumbone (p < 0.05). Protein expression levels of E-cadherin and cytoplasm β-catenin were upregulated by zerumbone (p < 0.05) in a concentration-dependent manner. On the other hand, protein expression levels of Ncadherin, vimentin, ZEB1, nuclear β-catenin, and c-Myc were suppressed by zerumbone (p < 0.05) also in a concentration-dependent manner.
Conclusion: The results demonstrate that zerumbone inhibits cell proliferation, migration and invasion, but represses the EMT process via inactivation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.

Keywords: Zerumbone, Ovarian cancer, Wnt/β-catenin pathway, Epithelial-mesenchymal transition