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Artemisinin reduces human melanoma cell migration by down-regulating αVβ3 integrin and reducing metalloproteinase 2 production


Artemisinin and its derivatives are well known antimalarial drugs, particularly useful after resistance to traditional antimalarial pharmaceuticals has started to occur in Plasmodium falciparum. In recent years, anticancer activity of artemisinin has been reported both in vitro and in vivo. Artemisinin has inhibitory effects on cancer cell growth and anti-angiogenetic activity. In the present investigation, we analyzed the inhibitory effects of artemisinin on migratory ability of melanoma cell lines (A375P and A375M, low and medium metastatic properties, respectively). We demonstrate that artemisinin induces cell growth arrest in A375M, and affects A375P cells viability with cytotoxic and growth inhibitory effects, while it was not effective in contrasting proliferation of other tumor cell lines (MCF7 and MKN). In addition, artemisinin affected the migratory ability of A375M cells by reducing metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) production and down-regulating αvβ3 integrin expression. These findings introduce a potential of artemisinin as a chemotherapeutic agent in melanoma treatment.

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This study was supported by grants from Legge 5 (2006), Regione Campania.

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Correspondence to Maria Antonietta Tufano.

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The first two authors (E.B. and A.B.) equally contributed to this work.

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Buommino, E., Baroni, A., Canozo, N. et al. Artemisinin reduces human melanoma cell migration by down-regulating αVβ3 integrin and reducing metalloproteinase 2 production. Invest New Drugs 27, 412–418 (2009).

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  • Artemisinin
  • Melanoma
  • Integrin
  • Metalloproteinase
  • Migration