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Open Access Swainsonine Inhibits Invasion and the EMT Process in Esophageal Carcinoma Cells by Targeting Twist1

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Esophageal cancer is a common gastrointestinal cancer, with a very high mortality rate in patients with metastasis. Swainsonine, a cytotoxic fungal alkaloid, has been shown to inhibit cell growth in esophageal cancer. In the present study, we explored the effects of swainsonine on cell invasion and metastasis in esophageal cancer cells. Human esophageal carcinoma cells were treated with different doses of swainsonine, and then cell viability, invasion, and apoptosis were measured. The mRNA and protein expressions of Twist1, apoptosis- and EMT-related factors, and PI3K/AKT pathway factors were detected by qRT-PCR and Western blot. Swainsonine had no effect on esophageal cancer cell viability and apoptosis, but it significantly decreased cell invasion in a dose-dependent manner. Swainsonine increased the expression of E-cadherin but decreased the expression of N-cadherin, vimentin, ZEB1, and snail in a dose-dependent manner, thereby inhibiting EMT. Last, we found that swainsonine inhibits cell invasion and EMT in the esophageal carcinoma cells by downregulation of Twist1 and deactivation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.
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Keywords: Cell invasion; Epithelial‐mesenchymal transition (EMT); Esophageal carcinoma; Metastasis; Swainsonine; Twist1

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Medical Oncology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, P.R. China

Publication date: September 14, 2018

This article was made available online on September 6, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Swainsonine Inhibits Invasion and the EMT Process in Esophageal Carcinoma Cells by Targeting Twist1".

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