Berberine (BBR) is a natural alkaloid with significant antitumor activities against many types of cancer cells. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms by which BBR repressed the metastatic potential of breast cancer cells. BBR was found to downregulate the enzymatic activities and expression levels of matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9 (MMP2 and MMP9, respectively). The BBR-mediated suppression of MMP2 and MMP9 involved the inhibition of the Akt/nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and activator protein-1 (AP-1) signaling pathways. Furthermore, BBR repressed the expression of the Akt protein by modulating the mRNA expression level and protein degradation of Akt. In conclusion, this study suggests that BBR can reduce the metastatic potential of highly metastatic breast cancer cells and may be a useful adjuvant therapeutic agent in the treatment of breast cancer by targeting the Akt pathway.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 60(38), pp.9649-9658