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Article

Inhibition of Tyrosine-Phosphorylated STAT3 in Human Breast and Lung Cancer Cells by Manuka Honey is Mediated by Selective Antagonism of the IL-6 Receptor

1
Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
2
Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
3
Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
4
Department of Immunology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP 05508-000, Brazil
5
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Division, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(18), 4340; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20184340
Received: 3 July 2019 / Revised: 26 August 2019 / Accepted: 1 September 2019 / Published: 5 September 2019
Aberrantly high levels of tyrosine-phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (p-STAT3) are found constitutively in ~50% of human lung and breast cancers, acting as an oncogenic transcription factor. We previously demonstrated that Manuka honey (MH) inhibits p-STAT3 in breast cancer cells, but the exact mechanism remained unknown. Herein, we show that MH-mediated inhibition of p-STAT3 in breast (MDA-MB-231) and lung (A549) cancer cell lines is accompanied by decreased levels of gp130 and p-JAK2, two upstream components of the IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) signaling pathway. Using an ELISA-based assay, we demonstrate that MH binds directly to IL-6Rα, significantly inhibiting (~60%) its binding to the IL-6 ligand. Importantly, no evidence of MH binding to two other cytokine receptors, IL-11Rα and IL-8R, was found. Moreover, MH did not alter the levels of tyrosine-phosphorylated or total Src family kinases, which are also constitutively activated in cancer cells, suggesting that signaling via other growth factor receptors is unaffected by MH. Binding of five major MH flavonoids (luteolin, quercetin, galangin, pinocembrin, and chrysin) was also tested, and all but pinocembrin could demonstrably bind IL-6Rα, partially (30–35%) blocking IL-6 binding at the highest concentration (50 μM) used. In agreement, each flavonoid inhibited p-STAT3 in a dose-dependent manner, with estimated IC50 values in the 3.5–70 μM range. Finally, docking analysis confirmed the capacity of each flavonoid to bind in an energetically favorable configuration to IL-6Rα at a site predicted to interfere with ligand binding. Taken together, our findings identify IL-6Rα as a direct target of MH and its flavonoids, highlighting IL-6R blockade as a mechanism for the anti-tumor activity of MH, as well as a viable therapeutic target in IL-6-dependent cancers. View Full-Text
Keywords: Manuka honey; Flavonoids; IL-6 receptor; STAT3; IL-6; breast and lung cancers Manuka honey; Flavonoids; IL-6 receptor; STAT3; IL-6; breast and lung cancers
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MDPI and ACS Style

Aryappalli, P.; Shabbiri, K.; Masad, R.J.; Al-Marri, R.H.; Haneefa, S.M.; Mohamed, Y.A.; Arafat, K.; Attoub, S.; Cabral-Marques, O.; Ramadi, K.B.; Fernandez-Cabezudo, M.J.; al-Ramadi, B.K. Inhibition of Tyrosine-Phosphorylated STAT3 in Human Breast and Lung Cancer Cells by Manuka Honey is Mediated by Selective Antagonism of the IL-6 Receptor. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 4340. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20184340

AMA Style

Aryappalli P, Shabbiri K, Masad RJ, Al-Marri RH, Haneefa SM, Mohamed YA, Arafat K, Attoub S, Cabral-Marques O, Ramadi KB, Fernandez-Cabezudo MJ, al-Ramadi BK. Inhibition of Tyrosine-Phosphorylated STAT3 in Human Breast and Lung Cancer Cells by Manuka Honey is Mediated by Selective Antagonism of the IL-6 Receptor. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2019; 20(18):4340. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20184340

Chicago/Turabian Style

Aryappalli, Priyanka, Khadija Shabbiri, Razan J. Masad, Roadha H. Al-Marri, Shoja M. Haneefa, Yassir A. Mohamed, Kholoud Arafat, Samir Attoub, Otavio Cabral-Marques, Khalil B. Ramadi, Maria J. Fernandez-Cabezudo, and Basel K. al-Ramadi. 2019. "Inhibition of Tyrosine-Phosphorylated STAT3 in Human Breast and Lung Cancer Cells by Manuka Honey is Mediated by Selective Antagonism of the IL-6 Receptor" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20, no. 18: 4340. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20184340

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