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Molecular medicine reports

Melittin exerts an antitumor effect on non‑small cell lung cancer cells.


PMID 28713976

Abstract

Lung cancer accounts for a significant percentage of all cancer‑associated mortalities in men and women, with non‑small cell lung cancer being the most frequently occurring type of lung cancer. Melittin is the principal active component of apitoxin (bee venom) that has been reported to exert anti‑chronic inflammatory and anti‑cancer effects. In the present study, the antitumor effect of melittin was evaluated using in vivo and in vitro analyses. The results demonstrated that melittin significantly inhibited the epidermal growth factor‑induced invasion and migration of non‑small cell lung cancer cells. Subcutaneous injection of melittin at doses of 1 and 10 mg/kg significantly suppressed non‑small cell lung cancer tumor growth by 27 and 61%, respectively. In addition, melittin significantly inhibited the secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in non‑small cell lung cancer cells. Furthermore, melittin decreased the protein expression of VEGF and hypoxia‑inducible factor 1‑α. Therefore, the antitumor activity of melittin may be associated with the anti‑angiogenic actions of inhibiting the VEGF and hypoxia‑inducible factor signaling pathways.

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