Bioinformatics Studies Provide Insight into Possible Target and Mechanisms of Action of Nobiletin against Cancer Stem Cells

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

2 Cancer Chemoprevention Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.


Objective: Nobiletin treatment on MDA-MB 231 cells reduces the expression of CXC chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4), which is highly expressed in cancer stem cell populations in tumor patients. However, the mechanisms of nobiletin in cancer stem cells (CSCs) remain elusive. This study was aimed to explore the potential target and mechanisms of nobiletin in cancer stem cells using bioinformatics approaches. Methods: Gene expression profiles by public COMPARE predicting the sensitivity of tumor cells to nobiletin. Functional annotations on gene lists are carried out with The Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery (DAVID) v6.8, and WEB-based GEne SeT Analysis Toolkit (WebGestalt). The protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was analyzed by STRING-DB and visualized by Cytoscape. Results: Microarray analyses reveal many genes involved in protein binding, transcriptional and translational activity. Pathway enrichment analysis revealed breast cancer regulation of estrogen signaling and Wnt/ß-catenin by nobiletin. Moreover, three hub genes, i.e. ESR1, NCOA3, and RPS6KB1 and one significant module were filtered out and selected from the PPI network. Conclusion: Nobiletin might serve as a lead compound for the development of CSCs-targeted drugs by targeting estrogen and Wnt/ß-catenin signaling. Further studies are needed to explore the full therapeutic potential of nobiletin in cancer stem cells.


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