Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a bioactive component extracted from propolis, is widely studied due to its anti-cancer effect. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is distinct from other head and neck carcinomas and has a high risk of distant metastases. N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) is demonstrated as a tumor suppressor gene in several cancers. Our result showed that CAPE treatment could repress NPC cell growth, through induction of S phase cell cycle arrest, and invasion. CAPE treatment stimulated NDRG1 expression in NPC cells. NDRG1 knockdown increased NPC cell proliferation and invasion and rendered NPC cells less responsive to CAPE growth-inhibiting effect, indicating CAPE repressed NPC cell growth partly through NDRG1indcution. CAPE treatment increased phosphorylation of ERK, JNK, and p38 in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Pre-treatments by inhibitors of ERK (PD0325901), JNK (SP600125), or p38 (SB201290), respectively, all could partly inhibit the CAPE effect on NDRG1 induction in NPC cells. Further, STAT3 activity was also repressed by CAPE in NPC cells. In summary, CAPE attenuates NPC cell proliferation and invasion by upregulating NDRG1 expression via MAPK pathway and by inhibiting phosphorylation of STAT3. Considering the poor prognosis of NPC patients with metastasis, CAPE could be a promising agent against NPC.
- Nasopharyngeal cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry