Docosahexaenoic acid suppresses migration of triple-negative breast cancer cell through targeting metastasis-related genes and microRNA under normoxic and hypoxic conditions

Mahsa Javadian, Najibeh Shekari, Mohammad S. Soltani-Zangbar, Ali Mohammadi, Behzad Mansoori, Sepideh Maralbashi, Dariush Shanehbandi, Behzad Baradaran, Masood Darabi, Tohid Kazemi*

*Corresponding author for this work
16 Citations (Scopus)


There is insufficient evidence with respect to the effect of the standard anticancer therapeutic agents as well as common dietary supplements on the expression of such genes and microRNAs (miRNAs). Therefore, this study was aimed to study the effect of applying linoleic acid (LA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) fatty acids alone or combined with Taxol on the expression of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, MMP-2, vimentin, and talin2 genes, tumor-suppressor miR-194 and, onco-miR-106b in triple-negative breast cancer cell line, known as MDA-MB-231. MDA-MB-231 as metastatic breast cancer cell line was cultured and treated using 0.3 μM Taxol, 100 μM DHA, and 50 μM LA for 24 hours, alone or combined with Taxol under the normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Cells were harvested, after RNA extraction and complementary DNA synthesis, analysis of the expression levels of the studied genes and miRNAs was done through the use of the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Wound healing assay and Western blot analysis were also performed for confirmation. The results of qRT-PCR showed that treating the MDA-MB-231 cells with DHA caused an increase in the miR-194 expression and a decrease in the miR-106b expression, leading to the downregulation of the MMP-2 and MMP-9, and vimentin, and upregulation of the talin2 under the normoxic and hypoxic conditions. The results of the wound healing scratch assay revealed that the administration of the DHA and the DHA-Taxol combination caused the repression of cell migration in comparison with the control groups under the normoxic and hypoxic conditions. The results of the Western blot analysis demonstrated that DHA and the DHA-Taxol combination caused an increase in the expression of the talin2 protein rather than the control cells under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. This study showed that DHA has significant antimetastatic effects against the triple-negative breast cancer cells. DHA could serve as a promising supplementation for suppressing the breast cancer cell migration, especially under the hypoxic condition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)2416-2427
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2020

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