Purpose C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) signaling has been demonstrated to be involved in cancer invasion and migration; therefore, CXCR4 antagonist can serve as an anti-cancer drug by preventing tumor metastasis. This study aimed to identify the CXCR4 antagonists that could reduce and/or inhibit tumor metastasis from natural products. Methods and results According to the molecular docking screening, we reported here silibinin as a novel CXCR4 antagonist. Biochemical characterization showed that silibinin blocked chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12)-induced CXCR4 internalization by competitive binding to CXCR4, therefore inhibiting downstream intracellular signaling. In human breast cancer cells MDA-MB-231, which expresses high levels of CXCR4, inhibition of CXCL12-induced chemomigration can be found under silibinin treatment. Overexpression of CXCL12 sensitized MDA-MB-231 cells to the inhibition of silibinin, which was abolished by CXCR4 knockdown. The inhibition of silibinin was also observed in MCF-7/CXCR4 cells rather than MCF-7 cells that express low level of CXCR4. Conclusions Our work demonstrated that silibinin is a novel CXCR4 antagonist that may have potential therapeutic use for prevention of tumor metastasis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was partially supported by GRF (ref no: 474808 ) and RFCID grants (ref no: 08070152 ) to DCW.
- Breast cancer
- CXCR4 antagonist
- Molecular docking