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.