Scientific reports

Ruthenium polypyridyl complex inhibits growth and metastasis of breast cancer cells by suppressing FAK signaling with enhancement of TRAIL-induced apoptosis.

PMID 25778692


Ruthenium-based complexes have emerged as promising antitumor and antimetastatic agents during the past decades. However, the limited understanding of the antimetastatic mechanisms of these agents is a roadblock to their clinical application. Herein, we reported that, RuPOP, a ruthenium polypyridyl complex with potent antitumor activity, was able to effectively inhibit growth and metastasis of MDA-MB-231 cells and synergistically enhance TRAIL-induced apoptosis. The selective intracellular uptake and cytotoxic effect of RuPOP was found associated with transferring receptor (TfR)-mediated endocytosis. Further investigation on intracellular mechanisms reveled that RuPOP notably suppressed FAK-mediated ERK and Akt activation. Pretreatment of cells with ERK inhibitor (U0126) and PI3K inhibitor (LY294002) significantly potentiated the inhibitory effect of RuPOP on cell growth, migration and invasion. Moreover, the alternation in the expression levels of metastatic regulatory proteins, including uPA, MMP-2/-9, and inhibition of VEGF secretion were also observed after RuPOP treatment. These results demonstrate the inhibitory effect of RuPOP on the growth and metastasis of cancer cells and the enhancement of TRAIL-induced apoptosis though suppression of FAK-mediated signaling. Furthermore, RuPOP exhibits the potential to be developed as a metal-based antimetastatic agent and chemosensitizer of TRAIL for the treatment of human metastatic cancers.