Role of Integrin αvβ3 in Doxycycline-Induced Anti-Proliferation in Breast Cancer Cells

Yi Fong Chen, Yung Ning Yang, Hung Ru Chu, Tung Yung Huang, Shwu Huey Wang, Han Yu Chen, Zi Lin Li, Yu Chen S.H. Yang, Hung Yun Lin, Aleck Hercbergs, Jacqueline Whang-Peng, Kuan Wang, Paul J. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Doxycycline, an antibiotic, displays the inhibition of different signal transduction pathways, such as anti-inflammation and anti-proliferation, in different types of cancers. However, the anti-cancer mechanisms of doxycycline via integrin αvβ3 are incompletely understood. Integrin αvβ3 is a cell-surface anchor protein. It is the target for estrogen, androgen, and thyroid hormone and plays a pivotal role in the proliferation, migration, and angiogenic process in cancer cells. In our previous study, thyroxine hormones can interact with integrin αvβ3 to activate the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), and upregulate programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression. In the current study, we investigated the inhibitory effects of doxycycline on proliferation in two breast cancer cell lines, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. Doxycycline induces concentration-dependent anti-proliferation in both breast cancer cell lines. It regulates gene expressions involved in proliferation, pro-apoptosis, and angiogenesis. Doxycycline suppresses cell cyclin D1 (CCND1) and c-Myc which play crucial roles in proliferation. It also inhibits PD-L1 gene expression. Our findings show that modulation on integrin αvβ3 binding activities changed both thyroxine- and doxycycline-induced signal transductions by an integrin αvβ3 inhibitor (HSDVHK-NH2). Doxycycline activates phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), a downstream of integrin, but inhibits the ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Regardless, doxycycline-induced FAK phosphorylation is blocked by HSDVHK-NH2. In addition, the specific mechanism of action associated with pERK1/2 inhibition via integrin αvβ3 is unknown for doxycycline treatment. On the other hand, our findings indicated that inhibiting ERK1/2 activation leads to suppression of PD-L1 expression by doxycycline treatment. Furthermore, doxycycline-induced gene expressions are disturbed by a specific integrin αvβ3 inhibitor (HSDVHK-NH2) or a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) kinase (MAPK/ERK, MEK) inhibitor (PD98059). The results imply that doxycycline may interact with integrin αvβ3 and inhibits ERK1/2 activation, thereby regulating cell proliferation and downregulating PD-L1 gene expression in estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number829788
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 14 2022


  • anti-proliferation
  • breast cancer
  • doxycycline
  • integrin αvβ3
  • signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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