Complication of arsenic trioxide (ATO) and other drugs in cancer treatment has attracted much focus, but is limitedly investigated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study aimed to explore the role of ATO combined with canstatin in HCC. HepG2 cells were treated with different concentrations of ATO with or without canstatin, CCK-8, flow cytometry, Transwell assays were conducted to determine cell proliferation, apoptosis, adhesion, migration, and invasion abilities. Besides, the protein expression or mRNA level of caspase-3, PCNA, and MMP-2 was measured using western blotting or qRT-PCR. BALB/c-nu/nu mice were used to establish nude mouse transplantation tumor model, and received ATO or canstatin treatment for 3 weeks. The results showed that ATO inhibited cell proliferation, adhesion, migration and invasion, and promoted cell apoptosis with a concentration-dependent way. Canstatin had a significantly inhibitory effect on cell proliferation, but had limited effects on the other cellular behaviors. Besides, combination with ATO and canstatin strengthened the effects of ATO alone on cell proliferation inhibition and cell apoptosis promotion. Moreover, both of ATO and canstatin increased the protein expression of caspase-3, while decreased PCNA and MMP-2, which was further strengthened upon their combination. Furthermore, both of ATO and canstatin inhibited tumor growth in vivo, which was also strengthened upon their combination. Collectively, we found that combined canstatin and ATO significantly inhibited cell proliferation, migration and adhesion abilities, and promoted cell apoptosis, and inhibited tumor growth, thus suppressed the progression of HCC.
Drug Dev Res (Drug development research)
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