Am J Cancer Res 2019 1;9(8):1664-1681. Epub 2019 Aug 1.
The Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University Seoul 07804, Republic of Korea.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are innately resistant to standard therapies, which positions CSCs in the focus of anti-cancer research. In this study, we investigated the potential inhibitory effect of tannic acid (TA) on CSCs. Our data demonstrated that TA (10 μM), at the concentration not inhibiting the proliferation of normal mammary cells (MCF10A), inhibited the formation and growth of mammosphere in MCF7, T47D, MDA-MB-231 cells shown as a decrease in mammosphere formation efficiency (MFE), cell number, diameter of mammosphere, and ALDH1 activity. NF-κB pathway was activated in the mammosphere indicated by an up-regulation of p65, a degradation of IκBα, and an increased IL-6. The inhibition of NF-κB pathway via gene silencing of p65 (sip65), NF-κB inhibitor (PDTC), or IKK inhibitor (Bay11-7082) alleviated MFE. Other CSCs markers such as an increase in ALDH1 and CD44/CD24 ratio were ameliorated by sip65. TA also alleviated TGFβ-induced EMT, increase in MFE, and NF-κB activation. In murine xenograft model, TA reduced tumor volume which was associated with a decrease in CD44/CD24 expression and IKK phosphorylation. These results suggest that TA negatively regulates CSCs by inhibiting NF-κB activation and thereby prevents cancer cells from undergoing EMT and CSCs formation, and may thus be a promising therapy targeting CSCs.