Ellagic acid exerts antitumor effects via the PI3K signaling pathway in endometrial cancer

J Cancer. 2019 Jun 2;10(15):3303-3314. doi: 10.7150/jca.29738. eCollection 2019.


Ellagic acid (EA) is a polyphenol found in several fruits and plants. EA has been reported to exert antitumor activity in many types of cancers. However, the effect and potential molecular mechanism of EA in endometrial cancer are still unclear. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the underlying antitumor function and targets by which EA inhibits endometrial cancer. By using multiplatform bioinformatics analysis tools, including DrugBank, STRING, WebGestalt and cBioPortal, the core targets of EA were identified as PIK3CA and PIK3R1. In addition, through transwell assays, EA was strongly found to inhibit cell invasion and migration. Based on CCK8 assays and flow cytometry, EA exhibited a suppressive effect on endometrial cancer cell proliferation by causing cell cycle arrest and inducing apoptosis. The results of real-time PCR confirmed that the expression of PIK3CA and PIK3R was decreased by EA. Furthermore, western blotting analysis demonstrated that EA inhibited PI3K phosphorylation, downregulating the expression of MMP9. In vivo, EA suppressed lung metastasis in BALB/c nude mice based on the SUVmax value determined from PET scans and HE staining. According to all these data, it comprehensively demonstrated the inhibitory effect of EA on endometrial cancer through bioinformatics analysis and experimental verification. Our findings suggest that EA may potentially be beneficial for treating endometrial cancer.

Keywords: Bioinformatics; DrugBank; WebGestalt; cBioPortal; ellagic acid; endometrial cancer.