Tumor Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 8, pp 7467–7474 | Cite as

Antimetastatic effects of licochalcone A on oral cancer via regulating metastasis-associated proteases

  • Huan Shen
  • Guang Zeng
  • Guo Tang
  • Xingwei Cai
  • Lixia Bi
  • Changcheng Huang
  • Yongjin Yang
Research Article


Licochalcone A, a major phenolic constituent of the licorice species Glycyrrhiza inflata, has been proven to possess various biological benefits including anti-cancer activity. However, the detailed effects and molecular mechanisms of licochalcone A on the invasiveness and metastasis of oral cancer cells have not been fully understood. Thus, SCC-25 oral cancer cells were subjected to a treatment with licochalcone A at indicated concentrations (25, 50, and 100 μg/mL) for 36 h and then analyzed for the effect of licochalcone A on the cell migration and invasion. In vitro assays, including wound healing, cell adhesion, and cell invasion/migration assays, revealed that licochalcone A treatment significantly inhibited the cell migration/invasion capacities of SCC-25 cells. Also, results of zymography and Western blotting showed that activity and protein level of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) was suppressed, but TIMP-2 level was increased, indicating the important role of MMP-2 and TIPM-2 in anti-metastatic regulation of SCC-25 cells. Furthermore, licochalcone A was shown to suppress the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signal, as evidenced by the decreased expression of phosphorylated p65 (p-65) protein in licochalcone A-treated SCC-25 cells. Notably, we also found that licochalcone A treatment increased the expression of the epithelial marker E-cadherin and decreased the expression of mesenchymal markers N-cadherin in SCC-25 cells. This is the first report describing the effects and possible mechanisms of licochalcone A on tumor invasion and metastasis of SCC-25 cells. Taken together, our findings support that licochalcone A can be developed to a potent anti-metastatic candidate for oral cancer therapy.


Licochalcone A Oral cancer Invasion Migration Metastasis MMP-2 TIMP-2 E-cadherin N-cadherin p-p65 


Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huan Shen
    • 1
  • Guang Zeng
    • 2
  • Guo Tang
    • 3
  • Xingwei Cai
    • 1
  • Lixia Bi
    • 1
  • Changcheng Huang
    • 1
  • Yongjin Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of StomatologyThe General Hospital of the Second Artillery Corps of Chinese PLABeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Plastic and Burn Surgery, Tangdu HospitalThe Fourth Military Medical UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of DermatologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of the General Hospital of the People’s Liberation ArmyBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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