Research Papers:

Salicylate •Phenanthroline copper (II) complex induces apoptosis in triple-negative breast cancer cells

Limei Fan, Muyou Tian, Yunyi Liu, Ying Deng, Zhengkai Liao and Jinhua Xu _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:29823-29832. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16161

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Limei Fan1,2,*, Muyou Tian3,*, Yunyi Liu1,2,*, Ying Deng1,2, Zhengkai Liao3,4, Jinhua Xu1,2

1School of Medicine, Jianghan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430056, China

2Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Chemical Materials and Devices, Ministry of Education, Jianghan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430056, China

3Department of Radiation and Medical Oncology, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430071, China

4Hubei Key Laboratory of Tumor Biological Behavior, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430071, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Yunyi Liu, email: [email protected]

Zhengkai Liao, email: [email protected]

Jinhua Xu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: TNBC, Cu(sal)(phen), cell growth, apoptosis, anti-apoptotic protein

Received: December 20, 2016     Accepted: March 03, 2017     Published: March 13, 2017


In this study, we investigated anti-tumor activity and associated molecular mechanism of action of Salicylate ●Phenanthroline Copper (II) Complex in triple-negative breast cancer. Salicylate ●Phenanthroline Copper (II) Complex inhibited the growth of four breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7, T47D, MDA-MB-231 and BT-20) and induced apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. The effect was more profound in MDA-MB-231 and BT-20 triple-negative breast cancer cell lines. Western blot showed that the expression of the apoptosis-related protein Bcl-2, Bcl-xl and survivin was significantly reduced in MDA-MB-231 after treatment with Salicylate ●Phenanthroline Copper (II) Complex. In vivo, Salicylate ●Phenanthroline Copper (II) Complex administration significantly attenuated tumor growth of MDA-MB-231 xenografts, and the expression levels of Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and survivin were reduced as measured by immunohistochemical staining. These data suggest that Salicylate ●Phenanthroline Copper (II) Complex is a promising novel therapeutic drug for triple-negative breast cancer and warrants further study.

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