A standardized extract of cultured Lentinula edodes mycelia downregulates cortactin in gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer cells

Oncol Lett. 2021 Sep;22(3):654. doi: 10.3892/ol.2021.12915. Epub 2021 Jul 9.


AHCC®, a standardized extract of cultured Lentinula edodes mycelia, enhances the therapeutic effects and reduces the adverse effects of chemotherapy. Our previous study reported that treatment with AHCC® downregulated the expression levels of tumor-associated proteins in the gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer cell line, KLM1-R. However, to the best of our knowledge, the role of AHCC® in the inhibition of cell migration remains unexplored. Cortactin (CTTN), an actin nucleation-promoting factor, has been reported to be upregulated and correlated with migration, invasion and metastasis in pancreatic cancer cells. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of AHCC® on cell migration and the protein expression level of CTTN in KLM1-R cells. The Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis (GEPIA2), an online bioinformatics platform, was used to analyze CTTN mRNA expression levels in pancreatic cancer tissues compared with normal pancreatic tissues. CTTN mRNA expression and its association with clinicopathological characteristics were assessed by using the GEPIA2 platform. Next, the effects of AHCC® on KLM1-R cell migration were investigated by in vitro wound-healing assay. The KLM1-R cells were treated with AHCC® at a concentration of 10 mg/ml for 48 h. Western blotting was performed on of cell lysates with anti-CTTN or anti-actin antibodies to assess the protein expression levels of CTTN. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that the mRNA expression level of CTTN increased in pancreatic cancer tissues. The increased mRNA expression levels of CTTN were inversely associated with clinicopathological characteristics, including disease stages and prolonged patient survival times. The administration of 10 mg/ml AHCC® significantly inhibited KLM1-R cells migration compared with controls. The protein expression levels of CTTN were significantly reduced in AHCC®-treated KLM1-R cells, whereas actin expression was not affected. The downregulation of CTTN indicated the anti-metastatic potential of AHCC® in pancreatic cancer cells. Overall, AHCC® may have the potential to be a complementary and alternative therapeutic approach in treating pancreatic cancer.

Keywords: AHCC®; KLM1-R; cortactin; migration; pancreatic cancer.

Grants and funding

This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan (grant no. 17K07218).