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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Apr;132(3):1001-8. doi: 10.1007/s10549-011-1675-z. Epub 2011 Jul 15.

Frondoside A inhibits breast cancer metastasis and antagonizes prostaglandin E receptors EP4 and EP2.

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University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Frondoside A, derived from the sea cucumber Cucumaria frondosa has demonstrable anticancer activity in several models, however, the ability of Frondoside A to affect tumor metastasis has not been reported. Using a syngeneic murine model of metastatic breast cancer, we now show that Frondoside A has potent antimetastatic activity. Frondoside A given i.p. to mice bearing mammary gland-implanted mammary tumors, inhibits spontaneous tumor metastasis to the lungs. The elevated Cyclooxygenase-2 activity in many malignancies promotes tumor growth and metastasis by producing high levels of PGE(2) which acts on the prostaglandin E receptors, chiefly EP4 and EP2. We examined the ability of Frondoside A to modulate the functions of these EP receptors. We now show that Frondoside A antagonizes the prostaglandin E receptors EP2 and EP4. (3)H-PGE(2) binding to recombinant EP2 or EP4-expressing cells was inhibited by Frondoside A at low μM concentrations. Likewise, EP4 or EP2-linked activation of intracellular cAMP as well as EP4-mediated ERK1/2 activation were also inhibited by Frondoside A. Consistent with the antimetastatic activity observed in vivo, migration of tumor cells in vitro in response to EP4 or EP2 agonists was also inhibited by Frondoside A. These studies identify a new function for an agent with known antitumor activity, and show that the antimetastatic activity may be due in part to a novel mechanism of action. These studies add to the growing body of evidence that Frondoside A may be a promising new agent with potential to treat cancer and may also represent a potential new modality to antagonize EP4.

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