Antroquinonol from Antrodia Camphorata suppresses breast tumor migration/invasion through inhibiting ERK-AP-1- and AKT-NF-κB-dependent MMP-9 and epithelial-mesenchymal transition expressions

Food Chem Toxicol. 2015 Apr:78:33-41. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2015.01.012. Epub 2015 Feb 2.


Antroquinonol (ANQ) is an ubiquinon derivative isolated from the mycelium of Antrodia camphorata. However, the effect of ANQ on breast cancer treatment is unknown. We found that ANQ significantly suppressed the migration and invasion of breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells, and inhibited 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced invasiveness by MCF7 cells. ANQ inhibiting MMP-9 gene expression and enzymatic activity occurred at transcriptional regulation. Mechanistically, activation of ERK and AKT is crucial for MMP-9 gene expression, and the addition of ANQ suppressed phosphorylation of ERK and AKT. The induction of the AP-1 and NF-κB pathway participated in MMP-9 gene expression. Suppression of ERK inhibited AP-1, whereas blocking AKT diminished NF-κB activity, and treatment with ANQ suppressed both AP-1 and NF-κB signaling. Moreover, ANQ suppressed EMT protein expression, and inhibited TPA-induced EMT through downregulating the ERK-AP-1 and AKT-NF-κB signaling cascades. Together, our data showed for the first time that ANQ inhibited breast cancer invasiveness by suppressing ERK-AP-1- and AKT-NF-κB-dependent MMP-9 and EMT expressions.

Keywords: Antroquinonol; EMT; Invasion; MMP-9; TPA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antrodia / chemistry
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / drug effects*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Down-Regulation
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • MCF-7 Cells / drug effects
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3 / genetics
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3 / metabolism*
  • NF-kappa B / antagonists & inhibitors
  • NF-kappa B / genetics
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / toxicity
  • Transcription Factor AP-1 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Transcription Factor AP-1 / genetics
  • Transcription Factor AP-1 / metabolism*
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / pharmacology


  • NF-kappa B
  • Transcription Factor AP-1
  • Ubiquinone
  • antroquinonol
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • MMP9 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate