Inhibition of Src/STAT3 signaling-mediated angiogenesis is involved in the anti-melanoma effects of dioscin

Pharmacol Res. 2022 Jan;175:105983. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2021.105983. Epub 2021 Nov 23.


Angiogenesis plays an important role in the growth and metastasis of solid tumors including melanoma. Inhibiting tumor-associated angiogenesis is a tactic in treating melanoma. Dioscin restrains angiogenesis in colon tumor and has anti-melanoma effects in cell and animal models. In a previous study, we found that dioscin inhibits Src/STAT3 signaling in melanoma cells. Activation of the Src/STAT3 pathway has been shown to promote tumor angiogenesis. This study aimed to determine whether dioscin's anti-melanoma effects is related to inhibiting Src/STAT3 signaling-mediated angiogenesis. In a B16F10 allograft mouse model, we found that dioscin inhibited melanoma growth and angiogenesis. To exclude the impact of tumor growth on angiogenesis, a chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model was used to verify the anti-angiogenic effect of dioscin. Results showed that dioscin suppressed vessel formation in CAM. To determine if tumor secreted pro-angiogenic cytokines are involved in the anti-angiogenic effect of dioscin, conditioned media from dioscin-treated A375 melanoma cells were used to culture human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), and tube formation was monitored. It was observed that the tube formation of HUVECs was inhibited. Mechanistic studies revealed that dioscin inhibited the activation of Src and STAT3, and lowered mRNA and protein levels of STAT3 transcriptionally-regulated genes, in B16F10 melanomas. ELISA assays showed that dioscin decreased the secretion of MMP-2, MMP-9 and VEGF from A375 cells. Over-activation of STAT3 lessened the effects of dioscin in decreasing the secretion of pro-angiogenic cytokines from melanoma cells, and in inhibiting tube formation of HUVECs cultured with conditioned media from melanoma cell cultures. In summary, we for the first time demonstrated that inhibiting Src/STAT3 signaling-mediated angiogenesis is involved in the anti-melanoma effects of dioscin. This study provides further pharmacological groundwork for developing dioscin as an anti-melanoma agent.

Keywords: Angiogenesis; Dioscin; Melanoma; STAT3; Src.