The effects of Terminalia catappa leaf extracts (TCE) have been widely investigated, including its antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic activity, as well as its antimetastatic effects on several types of human cancer. However, no study has examined the antimetastatic potential of TCE in cervical cancer cells. This study aimed to elucidate the potential antimetastatic properties of ethanol extracts of Terminalia catappa in 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate treated human cervical cancer cells and investigate the signaling pathway of this process. We demonstrated that TCE elicited very low cytotoxicity and significantly inhibited cellular migration and invasion in human HeLa and SiHa cervical cancer cells. Moreover, the gelatin zymography, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and real-time PCR analysis revealed that the activity and mRNA level of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) were inhibited by TCE in a concentration-dependent manner. The Western blot results demonstrated that the highest concentration of TCE (100 μg/ml) reduced the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) by 46% in the HeLa cell lines. In conclusion, it was revealed that TCE exerted antimetastatic effects on cervical cancer cells by inhibiting the expression of MMP-9 through the ERK1/2 pathway.
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