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Purpose: To determine the inhibitory effect of glycyrrhizin (GLA) on cell invasion and metastasis in mammary carcinoma cells, and the mechanisms of actions involved.
Methods: The effect of GLA at different concentrations on proliferation of breast cancer MDA-MB-231 and BT549 cells was assayed by MTT method. Transwell assay was used to determine the effect of GLA at different concentrations on invasiveness and metastasis of breast cancer MDA-MB-231 and BT549 cells. The influence of LGA on expressions of microRNA-200c and miR-200c was assayed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
Results: There was no statistically significant difference in cell proliferation amongst cells treated with 5 and 20 μM GLA and untreated breast cancer cells. However, the proliferation of cells treated with 40 μM GLA was significantly reduced (p < 0.05). In the cell invasion and migration experiments, cell population transferred to the base of Transwell chamber in the two cell lines treated with GLA was markedly decreased, relative to cells without GLA treatment, while the number of cells decreased with increase in GLA concentration (p < 0.05). Results from image-pro-plus analysis revealed that the population of cells quantitatively crossing the Transwell compartment membrane decreased with increase in GLA concentration (p < 0.05). The expression of e-cadherin was increased by GLA treatment in a concentration-dependent manner. Moreover, GLA treatment led to significant changes in amounts of miR-200s a, b and c, with changes in miR-200c being the most significant (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: GLA suppresses the invasiveness and metastasis of breast cancer MDA-MB-231 and BT549 cells via upregulation of the expressions of miR-200c and e-cadherin. These findings provide a theoretical basis for the development of new breast cancer drugs.
Keywords: Glycyrrhiza, GLA, miR-200c, E-cadherin, Inhibition, Breast cancer cells, Invasion, Metastasis