A growing body of experimental evidence strongly suggests that cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), a major component of the fiber-type cannabis plant, exerts a variety of biological activities. We have reported that CBDA can abrogate cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression and its enzymatic activity. It is established that aberrant expression of COX-2 correlates with the degree of malignancy in breast cancer. Although the reduction of COX-2 expression by CBDA offers an attractive medicinal application, the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects have not fully been established. It has been reported that COX-2 expression is positively controlled by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/δ (PPARβ/δ) in some cancerous cells, although there is "no" modulatory element for PPARβ/δ on the COX-2 promoter. No previous studies have examined whether an interaction between PPARβ/δ-mediated signaling and COX-2 expression exists in MDA-MB-231 cells. We confirmed, for the first time, that COX-2 expression is positively modulated by PPARβ/δ-mediated signaling in MDA-MB-231 cells. CBDA inhibits PPARβ/δ-mediated transcriptional activation stimulated by the PPARβ/δ-specific agonist, GW501516. Furthermore, the disappearance of cellular actin stress fibers, a hallmark of PPARβ/δ and COX-2 pathway activation, as evoked by the GW501516, was effectively reversed by CBDA. Activator protein-1 (AP-1)-driven transcriptional activity directly involved in the regulation of COX-2 was abrogated by the PPARβ/δ-specific inverse agonists (GSK0660/ST-247). Thus, it is implicated that there is positive interaction between PPARβ/δ and AP-1 in regulation of COX-2. These data support the concept that CBDA is a functional down-regulator of COX-2 through the abrogation of PPARβ/δ-related signaling, at least in part, in MDA-MB-231 cells.
Keywords: Breast cancer; COX-2; Cannabidiolic acid; MDA-MB-231; PPARβ/δ; Stress fiber.