YC-1 has recently been demonstrated to have potent anti-invasion and anti-metastatic activity in several cancer models, in addition to its anti-proliferation activity. However, the mechanism underlying its anti-invasion/anti-metastatic activity is largely unknown. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a highly metastatic head and neck cancer in Southeast Asia. Here, we demonstrated that YC-1 inhibited invasiveness and proliferation of NPC cells, with the latter being accompanied by PARP cleavage, S-phase arrest and activation of Chk1/Chk2. We aimed at identifying novel anti-invasion mechanisms of YC-1 in NPC by a functional proteomic platform, the reverse phase protein array (RPPA). Our study revealed for the first time that multiple invasion-related signaling proteins (beta-catenin, caveolin, Src and EGFR), as well as several growth-related proteins (AMPKalpha, phospho-acetyl-CoA carboxylase (p-ACC), HER-2 and mTOR), which were previously un-described signaling proteins altered by YC-1, were found to be down-modulated by YC-1 in NPC cells. We hypothesized that YC-1-mediated downregulation of these invasion proteins contributed to its anti-invasion activity in NPC cells. Overexpression of EGFR, activated Src or caveolin, but not beta-catenin reversed the inhibitory effects of YC-1 on NPC cell invasion, with EGFR and activated Src having additional effects on rescuing NPC cells from YC-1-mediated growth inhibition. In summary, we have identified several novel anti-invasion mechanisms of YC-1 that could impact NPC, and possibly other cancers as well.
Copyright 2009. Published by Elsevier Inc.