Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is associated with poor prognosis, high local recurrence rate and high rate of metastasis compared with other breast cancer subtypes. In addition, TNBC lacks a targeted therapy. This scenario highlights the need for novel compounds with high potential for TNBC treatment. In this regard, natural products are important sources of anticancer drugs. D-Fraction, a proteoglucan extracted from the edible and medicinal mushroom Grifola frondosa (Maitake), is a dietary supplement that has been shown to exert both immunostimulatory and immune-independent antitumoral effects on some cancer types. However, its antitumoral potential in TNBC is unknown. Therefore, we employed TNBC cells to investigate if D-Fraction is able to attenuate their aggressive phenotype. We found that D-Fraction decreases MDA-MB-231 cell viability through apoptosis induction and reduces their metastatic potential. D-Fraction increases cell-cell adhesion by increasing E-cadherin protein levels and β-catenin membrane localization, and increases cell-substrate adhesion. D-Fraction also decreases cell motility by affecting actin cytoskeleton rearrangements, and proteolytic activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9. Furthermore, D-Fraction decreases the invasive capacity of MDA-MB-231 cells. In concordance, D-Fraction retards tumor growth and reduces lung metastases in a xenograft model. Altogether, these results suggest the potential therapeutic role of D-Fraction in aggressive TNBC.
Keywords: Maitake D-Fraction; antimetastatic; antitumoral; mushroom; triple-negative breast cancer.