Research Papers:

Docosahexaenoic acid suppresses breast cancer cell metastasis by targeting matrix-metalloproteinases

Eun-Jin Yun, Kyung-Sub Song, Soyeon Shin, Soyeon Kim, Jun-Young Heo, Gi-Ryang Kweon, Tong Wu, Jong-Il Park and Kyu Lim _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:49961-49971. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10266

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Eun-Jin Yun1,4,*, Kyung-Sub Song1,5,*, Soyeon Shin1, Soyeon Kim1, Jun-Young Heo1, Gi-Ryang Kweon1,2, Tong Wu5, Jong-Il Park1, Kyu Lim1,2,3

1Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejon 301-747, Republic of Korea

2Infection Signaling Network Research Center, Chungnam National University, Daejon 301-747, Republic of Korea

3Cancer Research Institute, Chungnam National University, Daejon 301-747, Republic of Korea

4Department of Urology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA

5Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jong-Il Park, email: [email protected]

Kyu Lim, email: [email protected]

Keywords: DHA, omega-3 PUFA, MMP, breast cancer

Received: August 07, 2015     Accepted: April 07, 2016     Published: June 23, 2016


Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in women, and nearly half of breast cancer patients develop distant metastatic disease after therapy. Despite the significant advances that have been achieved in understanding breast cancer metastasis in the past decades, metastatic cancer is still hard to cure. Here, we demonstrated an anti-cancer mechanism of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that suppressed lung metastasis in breast cancer. DHA could inhibit proliferation and invasion of breast cancer cells in vitro, and this was mainly through blocking Cox-2-PGE2-NF-κB-MMPs cascades. DHA treatment significantly decreased Cox-2 and NF-κB expression as well as nuclear translocation of NF-κB in MDA-MB-231 cells. In addition, DHA also reduced NF-κB binding to DNA which may lead to inactivation of MMPs. Moreover, in vivo studies using Fat-1 transgenic mice showed remarkable decrease of tumor growth and metastasis to EO771 cells to lung in DHA-rich environment. In conclusion, DHA attenuated breast cancer progression and lung metastasis in part through suppressing MMPs, and these findings suggest chemoprevention and potential therapeutic strategy to overcome malignant breast cancer.

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