Objective The β-nitrostyrene family has been reported to possess anticancer properties. However, the anticancer activity of β-nitrostyrenes on cervical cancer cells and the underlying mechanisms involved remain unexplored. In this study, a β-nitrostyrene derivative CYT-Rx20 (3′-hydroxy-4′-methoxy-β-methyl-β-nitrostyrene) was synthesized, and its anticancer activity on cervical cancer cells and the mechanisms involved were investigated.
Methods The effect of CYT-Rx20 on human cervical cancer cell growth was evaluated using cell viability assay. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and annexin V staining were detected by flow cytometry. The protein expression levels of cleaved caspase-3, cleaved caspase-9, cleaved poly (ADPribose) polymerase, γH2AX, β-catenin, Vimentin, and Twist were measured by Western blotting. DNA double-strand breaks were determined by γ-H2AX foci formation and neutral comet assay. Migration assay was used to determine cancer cell migration. Nude mice xenograft was used to investigate the antitumor effects of CYT-Rx20 in vivo.
Results CYT-Rx20 induced cytotoxicity in cervical cancer cells by promoting cell apoptosis via ROS generation and DNA damage. CYT-Rx20-induced cell apoptosis, ROS generation, and DNA damage were reversed by thiol antioxidants. In addition, CYT-Rx20 inhibited cervical cancer cell migration by regulating the expression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition markers. In nude mice, CYT-Rx20 inhibited cervical tumor growth accompanied by increased expression of DNA damage marker γH2AX and decreased expression of mesenchymal markers β-catenin and Twist.
Conclusions CYT-Rx20 inhibits cervical cancer cells in vitro and in vivo and has the potential to be further developed into an anti-cervical cancer drug clinically.
- DNA damage
- Cervical cancer
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The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.
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