Delta-tocotrienol inhibits non-small-cell lung cancer cell invasion via the inhibition of NF-κB, uPA activator, and MMP-9

Onco Targets Ther. 2018 Jul 24:11:4301-4314. doi: 10.2147/OTT.S160163. eCollection 2018.


Background: Delta-tocotrienol (δT), an isomer of vitamin E, exhibits anticancer properties in different cancer types including non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Yet, anti-invasive effects of δT and its underlying cellular mechanism in NSCLC have not been fully explored. Matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9)-based cell migration and invasion are critical cellular mechanisms in cancer development. The current evidence indicates that MMP-9 is upregulated in most patients, and the inhibition of MMPs is involved in decreasing invasion and metastasis in NSCLC. Therefore, its suppression is a promising strategy for attenuating cell invasion and metastasis processes in NSCLC.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the possibility of MMP-9 inhibition as the underlying mechanism behind the antimetastatic properties of δT on NSCLC cells.

Methods: The effects of δT on cell proliferation, migration, invasion, adhesion, and aggregation capabilities were investigated using different cell-based assays. An inhibitory effect of MMP-9 enzyme activity with δT was also identified using gel zymography. Using real-time PCR and Western blot analysis, a number of cellular proteins, regulatory genes, and miRNA involved in the Notch-1 and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA)-mediated MMP-9 pathways were examined.

Results: The study found that δT inhibited cell proliferation, cell migration, invasion, aggregation, and adhesion in a concentration-dependent manner and reduced MMP-9 activities. Real-time PCR and Western blot analysis data revealed that δT increased miR-451 expressions and downregulated Notch-1-mediated nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), which led to the repressed expression of MMP-9 and uPA proteins.

Conclusion: δT attenuated tumor invasion and metastasis by the repression of MMP-9/uPA via downregulation of Notch-1 and NF-κB pathways and upregulation of miR-451. The data suggest that δT may have potential therapeutic benefit against NSCLC metastasis.

Keywords: A549; H1299; cell migration; lung cancer; metalloproteinases; metastasis; miR-451; vitamin E.