Taiwanin E is a natural compound which is structurally analogous to estrogen II and is abundantly found in Taiwania cryptomerioides. It has been previously reported for its anticancer effects; however, the pharmaceutical effect of Taiwanin E on Human LoVo colon cancer cells is not clear. In this study, we investigated the effects of Taiwanin E on metastasis and the associated mechanism of action on Human LoVo colon cancer cells with respect to the modulations in their cell migration and signaling pathways associated with migration. The results showed that Taiwanin E inhibited cell migration ability correlated with reduced expression and activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9. In addition, Taiwanin E induced activation of p38 through phosphorylation. Inhibition of p38α/β significantly abolished the effect of Taiwanin E on cell migration and MMP-2/-9 activity. Our results conclude that Taiwanin E inhibited cell migration chiefly via p38α MAPK pathway and in a lesser extend via p38β MAPK. The results elucidate the potential of the phytoestrogen natural compound Taiwanin E as a cancer therapeutic agent in inhibiting the cell migration.
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