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. 2016 Jun 28;376(1):53-61.
doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2016.03.025. Epub 2016 Mar 17.

AhR Ligand Aminoflavone Inhibits α6-integrin Expression and Breast Cancer Sphere-Initiating Capacity

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AhR Ligand Aminoflavone Inhibits α6-integrin Expression and Breast Cancer Sphere-Initiating Capacity

Eileen Brantley et al. Cancer Lett. .

Abstract

Traditional chemotherapies debulk tumors but fail to produce long-term clinical remissions due to their inability to eradicate tumor-initiating cells (TICs). This necessitates therapy with activity against the TIC niche. Αlpha6-integrin (α6-integrin) promotes TIC growth. In contrast, aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) signaling activation impedes the formation of mammospheres (clusters of cells enriched for TICs). We investigated the ability of AhR agonist Aminoflavone (AF) and AF pro-drug (AFP464) to disrupt mammospheres derived from breast cancer cells and a M05 mammary mouse model of breast cancer respectively. We further examined the capacity of AF and AFP464 to exhibit anticancer activity and modulate the expression of 'stemness' genes including α6-integrin using immunofluorescence, flow cytometry and qRT-PCR analysis. AF disrupted mammospheres and prevented secondary mammosphere formation. In contrast, AF did not disrupt mammospheres derived from AhR ligand-unresponsive MCF-7 cells. AFP464 treatment suppressed M05 tumor growth and disrupted corresponding mammospheres. AF and AFP464 reduced the expression and percentage of cells that stained for 'stemness' markers including α6-integrin in vitro and in vivo respectively. These data suggest AFP464 thwarts bulk breast tumor and TIC growth via AhR agonist-mediated α6-integrin inhibition.

Keywords: Aminoflavone; Aryl hydrocarbon receptor; Mammospheres; α6-integrin.

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