Sauchinone, a lignan isolated from Saururus chinenesis, is known to exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. Recently, sauchinone has been reported to inhibit the growth of various cancer cells, but its effects on breast cancer cells remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the effects of sauchinone on the growth of breast cancer cells along with the underlying molecular mechanisms. Our results show that sauchinone treatment markedly inhibited the proliferation, migration, and invasion of breast cancer cells. Sauchinone reduced the phosphorylation of Akt, ERK, and CREB increased by transforming growth factor-β. In particular, sauchinone treatment suppressed the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP13) by regulating the Akt-CREB signaling pathway. Sauchinone was less effective in inhibiting cell migration in Mmp13-knockdown cells than in control cells, suggesting that MMP13 may be a novel target for sauchinone. Our study suggests that sauchinone inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells by attenuating the Akt-CREB-MMP13 pathway. In addition, the targeted inhibition of MMP13 by sauchinone represents a promising approach for the treatment of breast cancer.

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