Author(s): Kim ES, Moon A
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Abstract Metastasis is a major cause of cancer-related mortality in patients with gastric cancer. Ursolic acid, a pentacyclic triterpenoid compound derived from medicinal herbs, has been demonstrated to exert anticancer effects in various cancer cell systems. However, to the best of our knowledge, the inhibitory effect of ursolic acid on the invasive phenotype of gastric cancer cells has yet to be reported. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of ursolic acid on the invasiveness of SNU-484 human gastric cancer cells. Ursolic acid efficiently induced apoptosis, possibly via the downregulation of B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), the upregulation of Bcl-2-associated X protein and the proteolytic activation of caspase-3. Furthermore, the activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and c-Jun N-terminal kinase was increased by the administration of ursolic acid. In addition, ursolic acid significantly suppressed the invasive phenotype of the SNU-484 cells and significantly decreased the expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, indicating that MMP-2 may be responsible for the anti-invasive activity of ursolic acid. Taken together, the results of the present study demonstrate that ursolic acid induces apoptosis and inhibits the invasive phenotype of gastric cancer cells; therefore, ursolic acid may have a potential application as a chemopreventive agent to prevent the metastasis of gastric cancer or to alleviate the process of metastasis.
This article was published in Oncol Lett
and referenced in Medicinal Chemistry