N-all-trans-retinoyl-l-proline inhibits metastatic potential of hepatocellular carcinoma cells


Corresponding author. Tel.: +86 21 54237697; fax: +86 21 64278329. xz_wu@shmu.edu.cn


Tumor metastasis is usually a serious problem in tumor patients because of the lack of therapeutic approaches. A new compound, N-all-trans-retinoyl-l-proline (ATRP), has been developed and its metastasis inhibition activity has been studied. Low concentrations of ATRP have already been found to inhibit hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HCC) in a dose- and time-dependent manner by inducing the expression of p27kip. We found that ATRP inhibited metastasis-associated behaviors in Hep3B cells, such as cell migration, invasion, collagen adhesion and gelatinase expression, more significantly than retinoic acid. Further, such inhibitory activities were observed in the regulation of cellular surface fucosylated epitope functions, such as binding of ulex europaeus lectin, expression of Lewis x, y and b, and activity of α1,3 fucosyltransferase. Hep3B cells pretreated with ATRP showed a significantly reduced incidence of experimental intrahepatic metastasis in nude mice. We conclude that ATRP is an alternative inhibitor and potential therapeutic agent for HCC metastasis with a different mechanism of action from ATRP.