Dioscin inhibits colon tumor growth and tumor angiogenesis through regulating VEGFR2 and AKT/MAPK signaling pathways

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Dioscin has shown cytotoxicity against cancer cells, but its in vivo effects and the mechanisms have not elucidated yet. The purpose of the current study was to assess the antitumor effects and the molecular mechanisms of dioscin. We showed that dioscin could inhibit tumor growth in vivo and has no toxicity at the test condition. The growth suppression was accompanied by obvious blood vessel decrease within solid tumors. We also found dioscin treatment inhibited the proliferation of cancer and endothelial cell lines, and most sensitive to primary cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). What's more, analysis of HUVECs migration, invasion, and tube formation exhibited that dioscin has significantly inhibitive effects to these actions. Further analysis of blood vessel formation in the matrigel plugs indicated that dioscin could inhibit VEGF-induced blood vessel formation in vivo. We also identified that dioscin could suppress the downstream protein kinases of VEGFR2, including Src, FAK, AKT and Erk1/2, accompanied by the increase of phosphorylated P38MAPK. The results potently suggest that dioscin may be a potential anticancer drug, which efficiently inhibits angiogenesis induced by VEGFR2 signaling pathway as well as AKT/MAPK pathways.Graphical abstractHighlightsDioscin inhibits tumor growth in vivo and does not exhibit any toxicity.Dioscin inhibits angiogenesis within solid tumors.Dioscin inhibits the proliferation, migration, invasion, and tube formation of HUVECs.Dioscin inhibits VEGF–induced blood vessel formation in vivo.Dioscin inhibits VEGFR2 signaling pathway as well as AKT/MAPK pathway.

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