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Mol Cancer. 2010 Oct 29;9:285. doi: 10.1186/1476-4598-9-285.

Cyanidin-3-glucoside inhibits ethanol-induced invasion of breast cancer cells overexpressing ErbB2.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.



Ethanol is a tumor promoter. Both epidemiological and experimental studies suggest that ethanol may enhance the metastasis of breast cancer cells. We have previously demonstrated that ethanol increased the migration/invasion of breast cancer cells expressing high levels of ErbB2. Amplification of ErbB2 is found in 20-30% of breast cancer patients and is associated with poor prognosis. We sought to identify agents that can prevent or ameliorate ethanol-induced invasion of breast cancer cells. Cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G), an anthocyanin present in many vegetables and fruits, is a potent natural antioxidant. Ethanol exposure causes the accumulation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). This study evaluated the effect of C3G on ethanol-induced breast cancer cell migration/invasion.


C3G attenuated ethanol-induced migration/invasion of breast cancer cells expressing high levels of ErbB2 (BT474, MDA-MB231 and MCF7(ErbB2)) in a concentration dependent manner. C3G decreased ethanol-mediated cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix (ECM) as well as the amount of focal adhesions and the formation of lamellipodial protrusion. It inhibited ethanol-stimulated phosphorylation of ErbB2, cSrc, FAK and p130(Cas), as well as interactions among these proteins. C3G abolished ethanol-mediated p130(Cas)/JNK interaction.


C3G blocks ethanol-induced activation of the ErbB2/cSrc/FAK pathway which is necessary for cell migration/invasion. C3G may be beneficial in preventing/reducing ethanol-induced breast cancer metastasis.

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