3-O-methylfunicone, from Penicillium pinophilum, is a selective inhibitor of breast cancer stem cells
Version of Record online: 22 SEP 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 44, Issue 5, pages 401–409, October 2011
How to Cite
Buommino, E., Tirino, V., De Filippis, A., Silvestri, F., Nicoletti, R., Ciavatta, M. L., Pirozzi, G. and Tufano, M. A. (2011), 3-O-methylfunicone, from Penicillium pinophilum, is a selective inhibitor of breast cancer stem cells. Cell Proliferation, 44: 401–409. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2184.2011.00766.x
- Issue online: 22 SEP 2011
- Version of Record online: 22 SEP 2011
- Received 21 January 2011; revision accepted 11 March 2011
Objectives: Cancer stem cells make up a subpopulation of cells within tumours that drive tumour initiation, growth and recurrence. They are resistant to many current types of cancer treatment, causing failure of such therapeutic approaches, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In the study described here, anti-proliferative effects of 3-O-methylfunicone (OMF), a metabolite from Penicillium pinophilum, were investigated on human breast cancer MCF-7 cells and cancer stem cells selected as mammospheres derived from MCF-7s.
Materials and methods: Stemness markers were analysed on isolated mammospheres showing positive expression of CD24, CD29, CD44, CD133, CD184 and CD338. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were analysed by flow cytometry and RT-PCR. Cell colony formation assays were performed to evaluate colony formation of mammospheres.
Results and conclusion: OMF treatment affected both MCF-7 and mammosphere growth, inducing apoptosis. In addition, OMF strongly reduced stemness markers and survivin, hTERT and Nanog-1 gene expression. Growth of colonies in soft-agar was significantly affected by OMF treatment, too. Lastly, we tested ability of MCF-7 cells to form mammospheres after treatment with OMF or cisplatin, demonstrating that OMF treatment resulted in drastic reduction in number of mammospheres. These results introduce OMF as an effective molecule in suppressing breast cancer stem cells.