Research Article

Sodium valproate inhibits MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell migration by upregulating NM23H1 expression

Published: January 13, 2012
Genet. Mol. Res. 11 (1) : 77-86 DOI: 10.4238/2012.January.13.1

Abstract

Breast cancer is a common cancer in women, with a highly variable course, from inoffensive to lethal. To find a more effective strategy for its treatment, sodium valproate has been tested as an anti-cancer drug; it is the only clinically available histone deacetylase inhibitor. However, data about the effects of sodium valproate on breast cancer are insufficient in both animals and humans; studies have yielded conflicting conclusions. In particular, little is known about the association between expression of the metastasis suppressor Nm23H1 gene and breast cancer. We hypothesized that sodium valproate regulates NM23H1 expression, and affects migration and/or invasion. We found that sodium valproate at concentrations of 0.8-3.2 mM inhibits migration and modulates Nm23H1 gene expression in a concentration-dependent manner. Confluent MDA-MB-231 cells were scratched by a micropipette tip after VPA treatment for 24 h; 24 h later, the scratch was almostly closed in the 0 mM VPA-treated cells, while the 3.2 mM VPA-treated cells migrated the slowest. The cell migration ratio exposed to 0.8, 1.6 and 3.2 mM VPA was about 66.67, 30.67 and 26.67% (P NM23H1 gene expression was relative fold increased determined by Western blotting at 3.2 mM VPA. Collectively, these observations indicate that sodium valproate has potential for use in breast cancer treatment.

Breast cancer is a common cancer in women, with a highly variable course, from inoffensive to lethal. To find a more effective strategy for its treatment, sodium valproate has been tested as an anti-cancer drug; it is the only clinically available histone deacetylase inhibitor. However, data about the effects of sodium valproate on breast cancer are insufficient in both animals and humans; studies have yielded conflicting conclusions. In particular, little is known about the association between expression of the metastasis suppressor Nm23H1 gene and breast cancer. We hypothesized that sodium valproate regulates NM23H1 expression, and affects migration and/or invasion. We found that sodium valproate at concentrations of 0.8-3.2 mM inhibits migration and modulates Nm23H1 gene expression in a concentration-dependent manner. Confluent MDA-MB-231 cells were scratched by a micropipette tip after VPA treatment for 24 h; 24 h later, the scratch was almostly closed in the 0 mM VPA-treated cells, while the 3.2 mM VPA-treated cells migrated the slowest. The cell migration ratio exposed to 0.8, 1.6 and 3.2 mM VPA was about 66.67, 30.67 and 26.67% (P NM23H1 gene expression was relative fold increased determined by Western blotting at 3.2 mM VPA. Collectively, these observations indicate that sodium valproate has potential for use in breast cancer treatment.