J Cancer 2020; 11(7):1927-1939. doi:10.7150/jca.36919 This issue
Kansas City VA Medical Center and Midwest Veterans Biomedical Research Foundation, Kansas City, MO 64128, USA
Background: Ovarian cancer (OC), the most lethal gynecologic malignancy, is highly resistant to current treatment strategies. High-grade serous epithelial ovarian cancer (HGSOC) cells with increased somatic mutations and genomic instability and the resulting heterogeneous mutant phenotypes are highly resistant to therapy. Plant-derived natural products, including Amla (Emblica officinalis) extract (AE), have demonstrated potent anti-neoplastic properties. Recently we demonstrated that AE inhibits cell growth and the expression of angiogenic factors in OVCAR3 and SKOV3 OC cells in vitro as well as in xenografts in vivo. The goal of this study was to determine the anti-proliferative, anti-angiogenic and anti-metastatic effects of AE on carboplatinum- and taxol-resistant HGSOC cells carrying p53, BRCA1/2 mutations.
Methods: Anti-proliferative and anti-metastatic effects of AE on recently characterized carboplatinum- and taxol-resistant HGSOC cells (TOV3041G, OV866(2), OV4453 and, OV4485) was determined using the MTT, migration, invasion and spheroid assays in vitro. To understand the mechanism of AE-induced changes in angiogenesis-related hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) and insulin growth factor receptor 1 (IGF1R), and EMT-associated SNAIL1 and E-cadherin proteins were studied using immunostaining and Western blotting. In vivo effects of AE were determined using mouse xenograft tumor model of OC developed by subcutaneous injection of OV4485 cells that carry mutant p53 and BRCA1, most aggressive and resistant among HGSOC cell lines used in this study. Tumor growth was measured using morphometry. Immunostaining and Western blotting were used to determine changes in Ki67 (proliferation marker), CD31 (angiogenesis marker) as well as changes in HIF-1α, IGF1R, SNAIL1 and E-cadherin proteins.
Results: AE significantly attenuated migration and invasiveness properties of all tested HGSOC cell phenotypes (P≤0.001), significantly reduced the expression of HIF-1α, IGF1R, and SNAIL1 and increased the expression of E-cadherin in all tested HGSOC cell lines (P=<0.05). Oral administration of AE for 4 weeks caused a significant regression of mouse xenograft tumor (>60%) that derived from OV4855 cells and decreased the expression of endothelial cell antigen-CD31, HIF-1α, IGF1R and SNAIL1 and increased the expression of E-cadherin in tumor tissues.
Conclusions: AE sensitizes platinum- and taxol-resistant heterogenous HGSOC cells carrying mutations in p53, BRCA1/2 genes, and attenuates their malignant characteristics through targeting key signaling mechanisms of angiogenesis and metastasis. AE is a potential adjunct therapeutic agent for treating resistant, mutant, heterogenous OC.
Keywords: high-grade serous ovarian cancer, Amla, resistant, angiogenesis, metastasis, sensitize, mutation