Cannabidiol reverts the malignant phenotype of hepatocellular carcinoma cells via the GPR55/TP53/MAPK axis

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“Cannabidiol (CBD) has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. However, the anti-tumor effect of CBD on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unclear. Here, we investigated whether CBD displays anti-tumorigenic effects in HCC cells and whether it could reduce tumorigenesis and metastases in vivo.

First, this study treated HCC cells with different concentrations of CBD, followed by analyzing the changes in the proliferative, apoptotic, migratory and invasive abilities. The effects of CBD on the growth and metastasis of HCC cells in vivo were verified by tumorigenesis and metastasis assays. Subsequently, the target genes of CBD were predicted through the SwissTarget website and the genes differentially expressed in cells after CBD treatment were analyzed by microarray for intersection. The enrichment of the pathways after CBD treatment was analyzed by KEGG enrichment analysis, followed by western blot validation. Finally, rescue assays were used to validate the functions of genes as well as pathways in the growth and metastasis of HCC cells.

A significant weakening of the ability of HCC cells to grow and metastasize in vitro and in vivo was observed upon CBD treatment. Mechanistically, CBD reduced GRP55 expression in HCC cells, along with increased TP53 expression and blocked MAPK signaling activation. In CBD-treated cells, the anti-tumor of HCC cells was restored after overexpression of GRP55 or deletion of TP53. CBD inhibits the MAPK signaling activation and increases the TP53 expression by downregulating GRP55 in HCC cells, thereby suppressing the growth and metastasis of HCC cells.”

“CBD treatment inhibits the growth and metastasis of HCC cells in vitro and in vivo. CBD can be used as a clinical treatment for HCC.”

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