Oncology reports

Zerumbone suppresses EGF-induced CD44 expression through the inhibition of STAT3 in breast cancer cells.

PMID 25269647


Expression of the CD44 gene is upregulated in breast cancer cells and is correlated with patient survival. Aberrant CD44 expression promotes tumor progression and metastasis. In the present study, we investigated the role of zerumbone (ZER) on regulatory mechanisms of CD44 expression in breast cancer cells. Our results showed that CD44 expression was significantly increased by epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) ligands in SKBR3 breast cancer cells. In contrast, EGF-induced CD44 expression was decreased by a MEK1/2 inhibitor, UO126, or STAT3 inhibitor, STAT3 VI, respectively. Notably, ZER downregulated the basal level of CD44 expression in CD44+ breast cancer cells. In addition, the induction of CD44 expression by EGFR ligands, EGF or TGF-α, was markedly decreased by ZER treatment. Finally, we investigated the inhibitory mechanism of ZER on EGF-induced CD44 expression. Our results showed that EGF-induced phosphorylation of STAT3 was completely suppressed by ZER. Collectively, ZER suppressed EGF-induced CD44 expression through inhibition of the STAT3 pathway. Therefore, we suggested that ZER may act as a promising therapeutic drug for the treatment of breast cancer.