Metastasis in lung cancer has been recognized as an important cause of high mortality. Resistance to anoikis and the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) are critical factors for the successful spread of cancer cells. Compounds that suppress these features of cancer cells should be potentially active for anti-metastasis approaches. We have demonstrated for the first time that moscatilin, at its non-toxic concentrations to lung cancer cells and human normal keratinocytes, significantly decreases lung cancer cell survival in the detached condition, and suppresses the formation of tumors in an anchorage-independent growth assay. Furthermore, we found that moscatilin significantly decreased the activated level of survival proteins, namely ERK and Akt. In addition, moscatilin down-regulated cavelolin-1 (Cav-1), leading to a reduction in anti-apoptotic Mcl-1 protein. In terms of EMT, treatment of the cells with moscatilin significantly suppressed mesenchymal cell markers, namely vimentin, Slug, and Snail. These results indicate that moscatilin inhibited anoikis resistance in lung cancer cells via survival suppression, Cav-1 down-regulation, and inhibition of EMT. The compound could therefore be beneficial for the treatment and prevention of lung cancer metastasis.
Keywords: Anchorage-independent growth; Anoikis; Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT); Lung cancer; Metastasis; Moscatilin.