Ouabain Suppresses the Migratory Behavior of Lung Cancer Cells

Varisa Pongrakhananon, Preedakorn Chunhacha, Pithi Chanvorachote

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The migratory capability of cancer cells is one of the most important hallmarks reflecting metastatic potential. Ouabain, an endogenous cardiac glycoside produced by the adrenal gland, has been previously reported to have anti-tumor activities; however, its role in the regulation of cancer cell migration remains unknown. The present study has revealed that treatment with ouabain at physiological concentrations is able to inhibit the migratory activities of human lung cancer H292 cells. The negative effects of ouabain were found to be mediated through the suppression of migration regulatory proteins, such as focal adhesion kinase (FAK), ATP-dependent tyrosine kinase (Akt), and cell division cycle 42 (Cdc42). We found that the observed actions of ouabain were mediated via a reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent mechanism because the addition of ROS scavengers (N-acetylcysteine and glutathione) could reverse the effect of ouabain on cell migration. Furthermore, ouabain was shown to inhibit the spheroidal tumor growth and decrease the cancer cell adhesion to endothelial cells. However, the compound had no significant effect on anoikis of the cells. Together, these findings shed light on the understanding of cancer cell biology by exploring the novel function of this endogenous human substance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere68623
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 10 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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