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      Capsaicin Inhibits Proliferation and Induces Apoptosis in Breast Cancer by Down-Regulating FBI-1-Mediated NF-κB Pathway

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          As a natural compound extracted from a variety of hot peppers, capsaicin has drawn increasing attention to its anti-cancer effects against multiple human cancers including breast cancer. FBI-1 is a major proto-oncogene negatively regulating the transcription of many tumor suppressor genes, and plays a vital role in tumorigenesis and progression. However, whether FBI-1 is involved in capsaicin-induced breast cancer suppression has yet to be ascertained. This study aimed to investigate the effects of capsaicin on proliferation and apoptosis and its association with FBI-1 expression in breast cancer.


          CCK-8 and morphological observation assay were employed to detect cell proliferation. Flow cytometry and TUNEL assay were conducted to detect cell apoptosis. RNA interference technique was used to overexpress or silence FBI-1 expression. qRT-PCR and/or Western blot analysis were applied to detect the protein expression of FBI-1, Ki-67, Bcl-2, Bax, cleaved-Caspase 3, Survivin and NF-κB p65. Xenograft model in nude mice was established to assess the in vivo effects.


          Capsaicin significantly inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in breast cancer in vitro and in vivo, along with decreased FBI-1, Ki-67, Bcl-2 and Survivin protein expression, increased Bax protein expression and activated Caspase 3. Furthermore, FBI-1 overexpression obviously attenuated the capsaicin-induced anti-proliferation and pro-apoptosis effect, accompanied with the above-mentioned proteins reversed, whereas FBI-1 silencing generated exactly the opposite response. In addition, as a target gene of FBI-1, NF-κB was inactivated by p65 nuclear translocation suppressed with capsaicin treatment, which was perceptibly weakened with FBI-1 overexpression or enhanced with FBI-1 silencing.


          This study reveals that FBI-1 is closely involved in capsaicin-induced anti-proliferation and pro-apoptosis of breast cancer. The underlying mechanism may be related to down-regulation of FBI-1-mediated NF-κB pathway. Targeting FBI-1 with capsaicin may be a promising therapeutic strategy in patients with breast cancer.

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          Most cited references 68

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          Cancer chemoprevention with dietary phytochemicals.

          Chemoprevention refers to the use of agents to inhibit, reverse or retard tumorigenesis. Numerous phytochemicals derived from edible plants have been reported to interfere with a specific stage of the carcinogenic process. Many mechanisms have been shown to account for the anticarcinogenic actions of dietary constituents, but attention has recently been focused on intracellular-signalling cascades as common molecular targets for various chemopreventive phytochemicals.
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            An essential role for NF-kappaB in preventing TNF-alpha-induced cell death.

            Studies on mice deficient in nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) subunits have shown that this transcription factor is important for lymphocyte responses to antigens and cytokine-inducible gene expression. In particular, the RelA (p65) subunit is required for induction of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)-dependent genes. Treatment of RelA-deficient (RelA-/-) mouse fibroblasts and macrophages with TNF-alpha resulted in a significant reduction in viability, whereas RelA+/+ cells were unaffected. Cytotoxicity to both cell types was mediated by TNF receptor 1. Reintroduction of RelA into RelA-/- fibroblasts resulted in enhanced survival, demonstrating that the presence of RelA is required for protection from TNF-alpha. These results have implications for the treatment of inflammatory and proliferative diseases.
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              Breast cancer statistics, 2019

              This article is the American Cancer Society's biennial update on female breast cancer statistics in the United States, including data on incidence, mortality, survival, and screening. Over the most recent 5-year period (2012-2016), the breast cancer incidence rate increased slightly by 0.3% per year, largely because of rising rates of local stage and hormone receptor-positive disease. In contrast, the breast cancer death rate continues to decline, dropping 40% from 1989 to 2017 and translating to 375,900 breast cancer deaths averted. Notably, the pace of the decline has slowed from an annual decrease of 1.9% during 1998 through 2011 to 1.3% during 2011 through 2017, largely driven by the trend in white women. Consequently, the black-white disparity in breast cancer mortality has remained stable since 2011 after widening over the past 3 decades. Nevertheless, the death rate remains 40% higher in blacks (28.4 vs 20.3 deaths per 100,000) despite a lower incidence rate (126.7 vs 130.8); this disparity is magnified among black women aged <50 years, who have a death rate double that of whites. In the most recent 5-year period (2013-2017), the death rate declined in Hispanics (2.1% per year), blacks (1.5%), whites (1.0%), and Asians/Pacific Islanders (0.8%) but was stable in American Indians/Alaska Natives. However, by state, breast cancer mortality rates are no longer declining in Nebraska overall; in Colorado and Wisconsin in black women; and in Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia in white women. Breast cancer was the leading cause of cancer death in women (surpassing lung cancer) in four Southern and two Midwestern states among blacks and in Utah among whites during 2016-2017. Declines in breast cancer mortality could be accelerated by expanding access to high-quality prevention, early detection, and treatment services to all women.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                12 January 2021
                : 15
                : 125-140
                [1 ]Department of Breast Surgery, Guangxi Medical University Cancer Hospital , Nanning, Guangxi 530021, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine and Public Health, Jinan University , Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510632, People’s Republic of China
                [3 ]Department of Medical Oncology, Guangxi Medical University Cancer Hospital , Nanning, Guangxi 530021, People’s Republic of China
                [4 ]Department of Ultrasound Diagnosis, Guangxi Medical University Cancer Hospital , Nanning, Guangxi 530021, People’s Republic of China
                [5 ]Department of Gland Surgery, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University & The First People’s Hospital of Nanning , Nanning, Guangxi 530022, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Changyuan Wei Department of Breast Surgery, Guangxi Medical University Cancer Hospital , Nanning, Guangxi530021, People’s Republic of ChinaTel/Fax +86 0771 5308593 Email changyuanwei@gxmu.edu.cn

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                © 2021 Chen et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 9, References: 68, Pages: 16
                Original Research

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine

                nf-κb, fbi-1, apoptosis, proliferation, breast cancer, capsaicin


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