Yi Fei Jie Du Tang is a traditional Chinese medicine formulation. Our previous studies have demonstrated that YFJDT can be used to treat non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but its protective effect against NSCLC and its mechanisms remain unclear.
In the present study, we evaluated the protective effects and potential mechanisms of Yi Fei Jie Du Tang on a tumor-bearing mouse lung cancer model and A549 cell model. Tumor-bearing mice and A549 cells were treated with Yi Fei Jie Du Tang, tumors were measured during the experiment, and tumor tissues and cell supernatants were collected at the end of the experiment to assess the levels of autophagy and epithelial-mesenchymal transition-related proteins.
The results showed that Yi Fei Jie Du Tang treatment reduced tumor volume and mass, increased the expression of the autophagy marker LC3, and inhibited epithelial-mesenchymal transition-related proteins compared with the model group.
Cell survival was reduced in the Yi Fei Jie Du Tang-treated groups compared with the model group, and Yi Fei Jie Du Tang also reduced the migration and invasion ability of A549 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Western blotting detected that Yi Fei Jie Du Tang also upregulated FAT4 in the tumor tissue and A549 cells and downregulated the expression of vimentin.
Meanwhile, apoptosis in both tissues and cells was greatly increased with treatment of Yi Fei Jie Du Tang. We further interfered with FAT4 expression in cells and found that the inhibitory effect of Yi Fei Jie Du Tang on epithelial-mesenchymal transition was reversed, indicating that Yi Fei Jie Du Tang affects epithelial-mesenchymal transition by regulating FAT4 expression.
Taken together, results of this study suggested that the inhibitory effect of Yi Fei Jie Du Tang on epithelial-mesenchymal transition in lung cancer tumors is through upregulating FAT4, promoting autophagy, and thus inhibiting epithelial-mesenchymal transition in cancer cells.