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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2014, Article ID 653732, 12 pages
Research Article

Piperlongumine Inhibits Migration of Glioblastoma Cells via Activation of ROS-Dependent p38 and JNK Signaling Pathways

1Department of Pathophysiology, School of Basic Medicine, Key Laboratory of Neurological Diseases, Ministry of Education and Hubei Provincial Key Laboratory of Neurological Diseases, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, China
2Department of Urology, Union Hospital, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China

Received 14 February 2014; Revised 21 April 2014; Accepted 25 April 2014; Published 22 May 2014

Academic Editor: Si Jin

Copyright © 2014 Qian Rong Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Piperlongumine (PL) is recently found to kill cancer cells selectively and effectively via targeting reactive oxygen species (ROS) responses. To further explore the therapeutic effects of PL in cancers, we investigated the role and mechanisms of PL in cancer cell migration. PL effectively inhibited the migration of human glioma (LN229 or U87 MG) cells but not normal astrocytes in the scratch-wound culture model. PL did not alter EdU+-cells and cdc2, cdc25c, or cyclin D1 expression in our model. PL increased ROS (measured by DCFH-DA), reduced glutathione, activated p38 and JNK, increased IκBα, and suppressed NFκB in LN229 cells after scratching. All the biological effects of PL in scratched LN229 cells were completely abolished by the antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC). Pharmacological administration of specific p38 (SB203580) or JNK (SP600125) inhibitors significantly reduced the inhibitory effects of PL on LN229 cell migration and NFκB activity in scratch-wound and/or transwell models. PL prevented the deformation of migrated LN229 cells while NAC, SB203580, or SP600125 reversed PL-induced morphological changes of migrated cells. These results suggest potential therapeutic effects of PL in the treatment and prevention of highly malignant tumors such as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in the brain by suppressing tumor invasion and metastasis.