Cyanidin-3-O-glucoside inhibits epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, and migration and invasion of breast cancer cells by upregulating KLF4

  • Dahu Chen Shandong University of Technology
  • Mei Yuan
  • Qin Ye
  • Xing Wang
  • Jing Xu
  • Guangyi Shi
  • Zhaodi Hu
Keywords: anthocyanin, cell migration, cell invasion, KLF4, FBXO32


Background: Anthocyanins (ACNs) are capable of suppressing breast cancer growth; however, investigation on the effect and mechanism of ACNs on epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and cell migration and invasion in breast cancer cells is limited. A complete understanding of those properties may provide useful information on of how to use these natural compounds for cancer prevention and treatment.

Objectives: The aim of this work was to investigate the role of cyanidin-3-O-glucoside (Cy3G), one of the most widely distributed ACNs in edible fruits, in the EMT process, and cell migration and invasion of breast cancer cells, and its underlying molecular mechanisms of how Cy3G establishes these functional roles in these cells.

Methods: MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 breast cancer cells were treated with Cy3G (20 μM) for 24 h, and then the cells were used for cell migration and invasion assay. Western blotting, luciferase assay, ubiquitination assay, gene knockdown, and cycloheximide chase assay were performed to analyze the molecular mechanisms of Cy3G in suppressing EMT, and cell migration and invasion.

Results: Cy3G inhibited the EMT process in these cells and significantly suppressed the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells (P ≤ 0.05) by upregulating Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) expression at protein level. KLF4 knockdown in MDA-MB-231 cells did not reveal any change in EMT marker expression, and cell migration and invasion upon treatment with Cy3G (P ≥ 0.05), which strongly indicated that the effects of Cy3G were mediated by KLF4. Furthermore, we determined that Cy3G indirectly upregulated KLF4 expression by downregulating FBXO32, which is the E3 ligase of KLF4.

Conclusion: Cy3G is a potential anticancer reagent as it can inhibit EMT and breast cancer cell migration and invasion by upregulating KLF4.


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How to Cite
Chen, D., Yuan, M., Ye, Q., Wang, X., Xu, J., Shi, G., & Hu, Z. (2020). Cyanidin-3-O-glucoside inhibits epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, and migration and invasion of breast cancer cells by upregulating KLF4. Food & Nutrition Research, 64.
Original Articles