Background: Methyl gallate (MG) possesses a wide range of biological properties that include anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial activities. However, its anti-tumor activity has not been extensively examined in cancer cells. Thus, we examined the effect of MG in both glutamate-induced rat C6 and human U373 glioma cell proliferation and migration.
Methods: MG was isolated from the stem bark of Acer barbinerve. Cell viability and migration were analyzed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and scratch wound-healing assay, respectively. Focal adhesion formation was detected with immunofluorescence.
Results: Treatment of C6 and U373 glioma cells with MG significantly reduced cell viability, migration, and Akt phosphorylation level. Glutamate stimulation markedly increased the level of ERK1/2 phosphorylation. However, cells treated with MG displayed decreased ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Inhibition of ERK1/2 by MG or MEK1/2 inhibitor significantly inhibited paxillin phosphorylation at Ser(83) and focal adhesion turn-over produced inefficient glioma cell migration. In addition, activation of Akt and ERK1/2 upon glutamate stimulation was independently regulated by Ca(2+) and protein kinase C activity, respectively, via the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methy-4-isoxazolepropionate acid glutamate receptor and metabotropic glutamate receptor.
General significance: Our results clearly indicate that MG has a strong anti-tumor effect through the down-regulation of the Akt and ERK1/2 signaling pathways. Thus, methyl gallate is a potent anti-tumor and novel therapeutic agent for glioma.
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