Research Papers:

(-)-Oleocanthal inhibits growth and metastasis by blocking activation of STAT3 in human hepatocellular carcinoma

Tiemin Pei, Qinghui Meng, Jihua Han, Haobo Sun, Long Li, Ruipeng Song, Boshi Sun, Shangha Pan, Desen Liang and Lianxin Liu _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:43475-43491. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9782

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Tiemin Pei1,*, Qinghui Meng1,*, Jihua Han1,*, Haobo Sun1, Long Li1, Ruipeng Song1, Boshi Sun1, Shangha Pan1, Desen Liang1, Lianxin Liu1

1Key Laboratory of Hepatosplenic Surgery, Ministry of Education, Department of General Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Lianxin Liu, email: [email protected]

Desen Liang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, (-)-Oleocanthal, tumor growth, tumor metastasis, STAT3

Received: January 07, 2016     Accepted: May 12, 2016     Published: June 02, 2016


We explored the anti-cancer capacity of (-)-oleocanthal in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). (-)-Oleocanthal inhibited proliferation and cell cycle progression and induced apoptosis in HCC cells in vitro and suppressed tumor growth in an orthotopic HCC model. (-)-Oleocanthal also inhibited HCC cell migration and invasion in vitro and impeded HCC metastasis in an in vivo lung metastasis model. ( )-Oleocanthal acted by inhibiting epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) through downregulation Twist, which is a direct target of STAT3. (-)-Oleocanthal also reduced STAT3 nuclear translocation and DNA binding activity, ultimately downregulating its downstream effectors, including the cell cycle protein Cyclin D1, the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and survivin, and the invasion-related protein MMP 2. Overexpression of constitutively active STAT3 partly reversed the anti cancer effects of (-)-oleocanthal, which inhibited STAT3 activation by decreasing the activities of JAK1 and JAK2 and increasing the activity of SHP-1. These data suggest that (-)-oleocanthal may be a promising candidate for HCC treatment.

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