Shen KH, et al. Int J Mol Sci 2020.
Sinomenine is an alkaloid derived from Sinomenium acutum. Recent studies have found that sinomenine can inhibit various cancers by inhibiting the proliferation, migration and invasion of tumors and inducing apoptosis. This study aims to investigate the effect and mechanism of sinomenine on inhibiting the migration and invasion of human lung adenocarcinoma cells in vitro. The results demonstrate that viabilities of A549 and H1299 cells were inhibited by sinomenine in a dose-dependent manner. When treated with sub-toxic doses of sinomenine, cell migration and invasion are markedly suppressed. Sinomenine decreases the mRNA level of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), MMP-9, and the extracellular inducer of matrix metalloproteinase (EMMPRIN/CD147), but elevates the expression of reversion-inducing cysteine-rich proteins with kazal motifs (RECK) and the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) and TIMP-2. In addition, sinomenine significantly increases the expression of the epithelial marker E-cadherin but concomitantly decreases the expression of the mesenchymal marker vimentin, suggesting that it suppresses epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Moreover, sinomenine downregulates oncogenic microRNA-21 (miR-21), which has been known to target RECK. The downregulation of miR-21 decreases cell invasion, while the upregulation of miR-21 increases cell invasion. Furthermore, the downregulation of miR-21 stimulates the expression of RECK, TIMP-1/-2, and E-cadherin, but reduces the expression of MMP-2/-9, EMMPRIN/CD147, and vimentin. Taken together, the results reveal that the inhibition of A549 cell invasion by sinomenine may, at least in part, be through the downregulating expression of MMPs and miR-21. These findings demonstrate an attractive therapeutic potential for sinomenine in lung cancer anti-metastatic therapy.