ROR activation by Nobiletin enhances antitumor efficacy via suppression of IκB/NF-κB signaling in triple-negative breast cancer

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Cell Death & Disease, 2022, 13, (4)
Issue Date:
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AbstractTriple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous disease characterized by poor response to standard therapies and therefore unfavorable clinical outcomes. Better understanding of TNBC and new therapeutic strategies are urgently needed. ROR nuclear receptors are multifunctional transcription factors with important roles in circadian pathways and other processes including immunity and tumorigenesis. Nobiletin (NOB) is a natural compound known to display anticancer effects, and our previous studies showed that NOB activates RORs to enhance circadian rhythms and promote physiological fitness in mice. Here, we identified several TNBC cell lines being sensitive to NOB, by itself or in combination. Cell and xenograft experiments showed that NOB significantly inhibited TNBC cell proliferation and motility in vitro and in vivo. ROR loss- and gain-of-function studies showed concordant effects of the NOB–ROR axis on MDA-MB-231 cell growth. Mechanistically, we found that NOB activates ROR binding to the ROR response elements (RRE) of the IκBα promoter, and NOB strongly inhibited p65 nuclear translocation. Consistent with transcriptomic analysis indicating cancer and NF-κB signaling as major pathways altered by NOB, p65-inducible expression abolished NOB effects, illustrating a requisite role of NF-κB suppression mediating the anti-TNBC effect of NOB. Finally, in vivo mouse xenograft studies showed that NOB enhanced the antitumor efficacy in mammary fat pad implanted TNBC, as a single agent or in combination with the chemotherapy agent Docetaxel. Together, our study highlights an anti-TNBC mechanism of ROR-NOB via suppression of NF-κB signaling, suggesting novel preventive and chemotherapeutic strategies against this devastating disease.
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