Yujuan Wang, Guoxiang Liu, Huihui Liu, Feng Zhu and Huanhuan Ji contributed equally to this work
Triple-negative breast cancer is a biological subtype of breast cancer, which is unresponsive to conventional chemotherapies and has a poor prognosis. C-Phycocyanin (C-PC), a marine natural purified from Spirulina platensis, has been investigated that has anti-cancer function. The mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway plays a crucial role in the development and progression of cancer. Therefore, we would like to study the anti-cancer effects of C-phycocyanin in the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer, and explore the role of MAPK pathway in the anti-tumor effects of C-phycocyanin.
Cell proliferation, cell cycle, cell apoptosis and cell migration were explored in breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cell lines. AKT, MAPK and membrane death receptor signaling were evaluated in MDA-MB-231 cell lines.
Our study indicated that C-phycocyanin inhibited cell proliferation and reduced colony formation ability of MDA-MB-231 cells. Furthermore, C-phycocyanin induced cell cycle G0/G1 arrest by decreasing protein expression levels of Cyclin D1 and CDK-2 and increasing protein expression levels of p21 and p27. In addition, C-phycocyanin induced cell apoptotic by activating cell membrane surface death receptor pathway. Besides, C-phycocyanin down-regulated the protein expression levels of cyclooxygenase-2, and further inhibited MDA-MB-231 cells migration. We also found cell death induced by C-phycocyanin was carried through the MAPK signaling pathways. C-Phycocyanin was able to induce MDA-MB-231 cell apoptosis by activating p38 MAPK and JNK signaling pathways while inhibiting ERK pathway.
C-Phycocyanin exerted anti-cancer activity via the MAPK signaling pathway in MDA-MB-231 cells.