Tumor Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 12, pp 12139–12149 | Cite as

Licochalcone A inhibits the migration and invasion of human lung cancer cells via inactivation of the Akt signaling pathway with downregulation of MMP-1/-3 expression

  • Hung-Che Huang
  • Lo-Lin Tsai
  • Jen-Pi Tsai
  • Shu-Ching Hsieh
  • Shun-Fa Yang
  • Jung-Tsung Hsueh
  • Yi-Hsien Hsieh
Research Article


Licochalcone A (LicA), a major phenolic constituent of Glycyrrhiza inflata, has been reported to exhibit anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and anti-metastatic properties in various cancer cells and animal models. The aim of this study was to determine the anti-tumor effects of LicA on lung cancer cells. The results indicated that LicA exhibited effective inhibition of cell migration and invasion of A549 and H460 cells under non-cytotoxic concentrations. Furthermore, LicA was also found to significantly inhibit the proteins and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of MMP-1 and MMP-3 in A549 cells. Moreover, treatment of A549 cells with LicA-inhibited activation of the phosphorylation of Akt and inhibition of Akt by LY294002 (PI3K inhibitor) or transfection with the constitutive active-Akt (CA-Akt) expression vector significantly abolished the LicA-inhibited migration and invasion through activation of the Akt pathway. Further mechanistic studies revealed that LicA inhibits Akt signaling pathways and downstream transcription factors Sp1 expression. These findings imply a critical role for Akt inhibition in the LicA-inhibited migration and invasion of lung cancer cells. Thus, LicA might be used as an anti-invasive agent in the treatment of lung cancer.


Lung cancer cells LicA Migration Invasion MMP-1 MMP-3 Sp1 



This work was supported by grants from Chung Shan Medical University and Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua, Taiwan (CSMU-CCH-102-05) and National Science Council, Taiwan (NSC 101-2313-B-040-001).

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hung-Che Huang
    • 1
  • Lo-Lin Tsai
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jen-Pi Tsai
    • 4
  • Shu-Ching Hsieh
    • 5
  • Shun-Fa Yang
    • 5
  • Jung-Tsung Hsueh
    • 6
  • Yi-Hsien Hsieh
    • 6
  1. 1.Visiting staff, Division of General thoracic Surgery, Department of surgeryChanghua Christian HospitalChanghuaTaiwan
  2. 2.School of DentistryChung Shan Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of DentistryChung Shan Medical University HospitalTaichungTaiwan
  4. 4.Department of NephrologyBuddhist Dalin Tzu Chi General HospitalChiayiTaiwan
  5. 5.Institute of MedicineChung Shan Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  6. 6.Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Department of Biochemistry, School of MedicineChung Shan Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan

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