Melittin inhibits cell migration and invasion via blocking of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in lung cancer cells

EMT 억제를 통한 멜리틴의 폐암세포 이동 및 침투 억제 효과

  • 조현지 (대구가톨릭대학교 의용생체공학연구소) ;
  • 정윤정 (대구가톨릭대학교 의용생체공학연구소) ;
  • 김문현 (대구가톨릭대학교 의용생체공학연구소) ;
  • 정일경 (대구가톨릭대학교 생명공학과) ;
  • 강동욱 (대구가톨릭대학교 제약산업공학과) ;
  • 장영채 (대구가톨릭대학교 의용생체공학연구소)
  • Received : 2017.10.19
  • Accepted : 2017.12.26
  • Published : 2018.02.28


Melittin is the main component of apitoxin (bee venom) that has been reported to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. Herein, we demonstrated that inhibition of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by melittin causes suppression of cancer cell migration and invasion. Melittin significantly suppressed the epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced cell migration and invasion in lung cancer cells. Moreover, melittin up-regulated the expression of epithelial marker protein, E-cadherin, and down-regulated the expression of EMT related proteins, vimentin and fibronectin. Mechanistic studies revealed that melittin markedly suppressed the expression of EMT mediated transcription factors, ZEB2, Slug, and Snail. The EGF-induced phosphorylation of AKT, mTOR, P70S6K, and 4EBP1 was also inhibited by melittin, but not that of ERK and JNK. Therefore, the inhibitory effect of melittin on migration and invasion of lung cancer cells may be associated with the inhibition of EMT via blocking of the AKT-mTOR-P70S6K-4EBP1 pathway.


melittin;epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT);migration;invasion;lung cancer


Supported by : 대구가톨릭대학교 의과학연구소


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