Background: Caffeine represents the most used psychoactive drug in the world acting through different mechanisms of action and on several molecular targets. It exerts an anti-cancer role in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). This neoplasia is characterized by extensive hypoxic foci triggering hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) expression. Among these factors, HIF-1α performs a crucial role in the induction of vascular endothelium growth factor (VEGF), a key player in angiogenesis and cell migration.
Methods: In this work, we have investigated whether caffeine counteracts GBM progression by modulating hypoxic event. Moreover, we analyzed the activation of phosphoinositide three kinase (PI3K)/Akt and mammalian mitogen activated protein kinase/Erk kinase (MAPK/ERK) signaling cascades.
Results: Our results have indicated that this psychostimulant drug significantly reduced HIF-1α and VEGF expression in GBM cells exposed to hypoxia. This effect is mediated through inhibition of PI3K/Akt and MAPK/ERK signaling pathways both implied in HIFs regulation.
Conclusion: The present data give new insight into antitumor activity of caffeine during GBM progression.
Keywords: Caffeine; MAPK/ERK; PI3K/Akt; glioblastoma multiforme; hypoxia-inducible factors; vascular endothelium growth factor..
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