• bufalin;
  • migration and invasion;
  • human osteosarcoma U-2 OS cells;
  • matrix metalloproteinases;
  • traditional Chinese medicine

Bufalin has been shown to exhibit multiple pharmacological activities, including induction of apoptosis in many types of cancer cell lines. Osteosarcoma is a type of cancer which is difficult to treat and the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of bufalin on the migration and invasion of human osteosarcoma U-2 OS cells. The wound healing assay and Boyden chamber transwell assay were used for examining the migration of U-2 OS cells. Western blotting and gelatin zymography assays were used for theexpression and activities of metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, MMP-7 or MMP-9 levels. Western blotting analysis also was used for measuring the levels of growth factor receptor-bound protein 2 (GRB2), son of sevenless homolog 1 (SOS1), c-Jun N-terminal kinases 1/2 (JNK1/2), extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), and p38 in bufalin-treated U-2 OS cells. Bufalin inhibited the cell migration and invasion of U-2 OS cells in vitro. Moreover, bufalin reduced MMP-2 and MMP-9 enzyme activities of U-2 OS cells. Bufalin also suppressed the protein level of MMP-2 and reduced the levels of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) such as JNK1/2 and ERK1/2 signals in U-2 OS cells. Our results suggest that signaling pathways for bufalin-inhibited migration and invasion of U-2 OS cells might be mediated through blocking MAPK signaling and resulting in the inhibition of MMP-2. Bufalin could be a useful agent to develop as a novel antitumor agent by virtue of its ability to inhibit tumor cell migration and invasion. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 29: 21–29, 2014.