Diosgenin, a naturally occurring steroid, suppresses fatty acid synthase expression in HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells through modulating Akt, mTOR and JNK phosphorylation

FEBS Letters
Chun-Te ChiangJen-Kun Lin

Abstract

Fatty acid synthase (FAS) expression is markedly elevated in HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells. In this study, diosgenin, a plant-derived steroid, was found to be effective in suppressing FAS expression in HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells. Diosgenin preferentially inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in HER2-overexpressing cancer cells. Furthermore, diosgenin inhibited the phosphorylation of Akt and mTOR, and enhanced phosphorylation of JNK. The use of pharmacological inhibitors revealed that the modulation of Akt, mTOR and JNK phosphorylation was required for diosgenin-induced FAS suppression. Finally, we showed that diosgenin could enhance paclitaxel-induced cytotoxicity in HER2-overexpressing cancer cells. These results suggested that diosgenin has the potential to advance as chemopreventive or chemotherapeutic agent for cancers that overexpress HER2.

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