Berberine suppresses growth and metastasis of endometrial cancer cells via miR-101/COX-2

Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Jul;103:1287-1293. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2018.04.161. Epub 2018 May 7.


Berberin (BBR), an alkaloid mainly found in Huang Lian (Rhizoma coptidis) and other medicinal herbs, has been reported to exhibit anti-tumor activities against several types of tumor. The biological function of BBR in endometrial cancer (EC) and the underlying molecular mechanisms, however, remain unknown. In this study, BBR was found to inhibit growth, migration, invasion and metastasis of EC cells, both in vitro and in vivo. BBR was also able to suppress tumor through cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)/ prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) signaling pathways. Transcription of miR-101 was upregulated by BBR via activator protein 1 (AP-1) in order to modulate the transcription of COX-2 in EC cells. In summary, BBR inhibited EC tumor growth and metastasis via miR-101/COX-2/PGE2 signaling pathways, suggesting the usage of BBR as a potential anticancer drug for treating EC.

Keywords: Berberin; Cyclooxygenase-2; Endometrial cancer; miR-101.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Berberine / chemistry
  • Berberine / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mice, Nude
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis


  • MIRN101 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • Berberine
  • Cyclooxygenase 2