Flavonoids are well-known antioxidants and have shown the ability to prevent tumor formation and recurrence. Especially in dietary flavonoids, they have provided convenience and consistence of intake for long-term prevention of tumor formation. Previous reports suggested that S100 calcium-binding protein A7 (S100A7) might activate epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) signaling and promote the metastasis of tumor cells; however, the regulatory signaling was unclear. In this study, we found that S100A7 was highly expressed in cancer cells and could be reduced by luteolin (Lu) and quercetin (Qu) through Src/Stat3 signaling. We found that the protein levels of S100A7, phosphorylated Src (p-Src), and p-Stat3 were increased in A431-III cells. Flavonoids Lu and Qu reduce protein levels of p-Src, p-Stat3 and S100A7 in A431-III cells. Treatment of A431-III cells with Src inhibitor SU6656 and Stat3 inhibitor S3I-201 also reduced the protein levels of S100A7. Transactivation activity of 5-upstream regions of S100A7 was activated by Stat3 but was reduced by treatment with Lu, Qu, SU6656 and S3I-201. The treatment also reduced the migratory and invasive abilities of A431-III cells. In a further analysis of EMT markers, the protein level of E-cad increased and that of Twist decreased after treatment with the inhibitors and flavonoids. Overexpression of S100A7 decreased the protein level of E-cad and increased the Twist level, whereas knockdown of S100A7 had the opposite effects. Treatment with S3I-201, Lu and Qu, compared to the control, were found to decrease metastasis of tumor cells in zebrafish larvae. These results suggest that Lu and Qu may inhibit Src/Stat3/S100A7 signaling to reduce tumorigenesis of cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number557
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Luteolin
  • Metastasis
  • Quercetin
  • S100A7
  • Src
  • Stat3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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