Objective: This study aimed to explore Hesperetin (Hst) potency as a co-chemotherapeutics agent combined with Doxorubicin (Dox), particularly cytotoxic and antimetastasis effects toward MCF-7/HER2 cells.
Methods: The cytotoxic effects were measured under MTT assay. The flowcytometry analysis was used to examine the cell cycle modulation and apoptosis evidence, while the effect of migration was assayed by scratch wound healing assay. Western blotting and gelatin zymography were carried out to examine the expression level of proteins, HER2, and Rac1.
Results: Under MTT assay, Hst and Dox exhibited to decrease cell viability in a dose-dependent manner with the IC50 value of 377 and 0,8 µM, respectively. The combination of Hst and Dox at the respective doses of 95 and 0,2 µM showed a synergistic effect with the combination index of 0,63. Flow cytometry analysis of Hst-Dox revealed that those compounds caused cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase and induced apoptosis. Hst also decreased HER2 and Rac1 expression, as shown by western blot. Hst inhibited lamellipodia formation and cell migration, as indicated by microscopic observation and wound healing scratch assay. The antimetastatic activity of Hst was associated with the reduction of Rac1 and MMP9 expression as measured by gelatine zymography assay.
Conclusion: These results indicated that the combination of Hst and Dox-induced cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, decreased HER2, Rac1, MMP9 expression, and cell migration. Thus, Hst may have the potential to be developed as a co-chemotherapeutic agent combined with doxorubicin toward HER2 overexpressing breast cancer cells.
Keywords: Cell cycle; MCF-7/HER2; Metastasis; doxorubicin; hesperetin.