The Effects of Tamoxifen in Combination with Tranilast on CXCL12- CXCR4 Axis and Invasion in Breast Cancer Cell Lines

Document Type : Research article


1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran.

2 Medical Biology Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

3 Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran.

4 Kermanshahuniversity of medical sciences


It has been reported that CXCL12 binding to CXCR4 induces several intracellular signaling pathways, and enhances survival, proliferation, and migration of malignant cells.
Herein we examined the effects of anti-estrogen tamoxifen and anti-allergic tranilast drugs as a single or in combination on invasion by two in vitro invasion assays, wound-healing and matrigel invasion on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell lines. The mRNA expression levels of CXCR4 and CXCL12 were measured by quantitative real time-RT PCR and CXCL12 protein levels were evaluated by ELISA assay.
The data showed that treatment with tamoxifen and tranilast as a single or in combination resulted in decreased CXCR4 and CXCL12 mRNA and CXCL12 protein expression levels. Both in vitro invasion assays markedly showed synergistic effect of tamoxifen when combined with tranilast drug. Either ER-positive or ER-negative breast cancer cells were sensitive to this combination therapy.
In conclusion, tranilast increases antimetastatic effect of tamoxifen. The synergistic effect of tranilast is not estrogen dependent; however tamoxifen may sensitize the cells for the action of tranilast. The data also support the importance of the CXCR4/CXCL12 interaction in breast cancer metastasis, and further suggest that CXCR4 and CXCL12 are critical targets for tamoxifen and tranilast in combination or alone.