Alantolactone, a sesquiterpene lactone, inhibits breast cancer growth by antiangiogenic activity via blocking VEGFR2 signaling

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Alantolactone (ALA), a sesquiterpene lactone isolated from several medicinal plants such as Inula helenium, has been identified to have attractive anticancer activity. However, its role in the inhibition of angiogenesis during tumor development remains unclear. In this study, we found ALA can inhibit the proliferation, motility, migration, and tube formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells. ALA also restrained angiogenesis in chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane and delayed the growth of human MDA-MB-231 breast cancer xenograft in mice through angiogenesis inhibition. Furthermore, ALA suppressed the phosphorylation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 and its downstream protein kinase including PLCγ1, FAK, Src, and Akt in endothelial cells. Taken together, the antiangiogenic activity of ALA and its molecular mechanism are identified for the first time, indicating that ALA may be a potential drug candidate or lead compound for antiangiogenic cancer therapy.

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