Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive tumor subtype with an enriched CD44+/CD24- stem-like population. Salinomycin is an antibiotic that has been shown to target cancer stem cells (CSC); however, the mechanisms of action involved have not been well characterized. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of salinomycin on cell death, migration, and invasion, as well as CSC-like properties in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Salinomycin significantly induced anoikis-sensitivity, accompanied by caspase-3 and caspase-8 activation and PARP cleavage, during anchorage-independent growth. Salinomycin treatment also caused a marked suppression of cell migration and invasion with concomitant downregulation of MMP-9 and MMP-2 mRNA levels. Notably, salinomycin inhibited the formation of mammospheres and effectively reduced the CD44+/CD24- stem-like population during anchorage-independent growth. These observations were associated with the inhibition of STAT3 phosphorylation (Tyr705). Furthermore, interleukin-6 (IL-6)-induced STAT3 activation was strongly suppressed by salinomycin challenge. These findings support the notion that salinomycin may be potentially efficacious for targeting breast cancer stem-like cells through the inhibition of STAT3 activation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)