Crocetin suppresses angiogenesis and metastasis through inhibiting sonic hedgehog signaling pathway in gastric cancer.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2021 Oct 22 ;576:86-92. Epub 2021 Aug 31. PMID: 34482028
Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the major causes of cancer-related deaths and chemoresistance is a key obstacle to the treatment of GC, particularly in advanced GC. As an active component of saffron stigma, crocetin has important therapeutic effects on various diseases including tumors. However, the therapeutic potential of crocetin targeting GC is still unclear and the underlying mechanisms are remained to be further explored. In this study, crocetin significantly inhibited angiogenesis in GC, including tubes of HUVECs and vasculogenic mimicry (VM) formation of GC cells. Crocetin also suppressed cell proliferation, migration and invasion. To explore which signaling pathway involving in crocetin, HIF-1α, Notch1, Sonic hedgehog (SHH) and VEGF were examined with crocetin treatment and we found that SHH significantly decreased. Crocetin suppressed SHH signaling with SHH, PTCH2, Sufu and Gli1 protein level decreased in western blot assay. In addition, crocetin suppressed SHH secretion in GC and HUVEC cells. The promoted effects on cell migration induced by secreted SHH were also inhibited by crocetin in GC and HUVEC cell co-culture system. Furthermore, recombinant SHH promoted angiogenesis as well as cell migration and proliferation. However, these promoted effects were reversed by crocetin treatment. These results revealed that crocetin suppressed GC angiogenesis and metastasis through SHH signaling pathway, indicating that crocetin may function as an effective therapeutic drug against GC.