Novel diphenyl urea derivative serves as an inhibitor on human lung cancer cell migration by disrupting EMT via Wnt/β-catenin and PI3K/Akt signaling

Lung Cancer

Toxicol In Vitro. 2020 Sep 14:105000. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2020.105000. Online ahead of print.


Targeted anti-tumor small molecules are considered to be promising candidates for cancer treatment. The novel diphenyl urea derivative (DUD) was synthesized by the molecular docking based on the structure optimization of Taspine (a natural product). In this study, we explored the anti-metastatic potential of DUD for NSCLC in vitro. DUD significantly suppressed A549 cell migration by reversing EMT. The inhibition was reflected on upregulation of E-cadherin and downregulation of N-cadherin,

vimentin, Snail and HIF-1α. Meanwhile, DUD inhibited the β-catenin nuclear translocation by upregulating Axin and downregulating the expression of APC, CK1 and phosphorylation of GSK3β, and simultaneously decreasing MMP9 and MMP13 expression. Moreover, it was associated with the downregulation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling. Furthermore, we used XAV939, an β-catenin inhibitor, to verify the mechanism of DUD. These results suggested that DUD inhibited A549 cells migration by reversing EMT via Wnt/β-catenin and PI3K/Akt signaling. DUD might be a potential therapeutic drug candidate for NSCLC treatment.