Parecoxib and 5-Fluorouracil Synergistically Inhibit EMT and Subsequent Metastasis in Colorectal Cancer by Targeting PI3K/Akt/NF-κB Signaling

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Colorectal cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer mortality worldwide, and innovative drugs for the treatment of colorectal cancer are continually being developed. 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is a common clinical chemotherapeutic drug. Acquired resistance to 5-FU is a clinical challenge in colorectal cancer treatment. Parecoxib is a selective COX-2-specific inhibitor that was demonstrated to inhibit metastasis in colorectal cancers in our previous study. This study aimed to investigate the synergistic antimetastatic activities of parecoxib to 5-FU in human colorectal cancer cells and determine the underlying mechanisms. Parecoxib and 5-FU synergistically suppressed metastasis in colorectal cancer cells. Treatment with the parecoxib/5-FU combination induced an increase in E-cadherin and decrease in β-catenin expression. The parecoxib/5-FU combination inhibited MMP-9 activity, and the NF-κB pathway was suppressed as well. Mechanistic analysis denoted that the parecoxib/5-FU combination hindered the essential molecules of the PI3K/Akt route to obstruct metastatic colorectal cancer. Furthermore, the parecoxib/5-FU combination could inhibit reactive oxygen species. Our work showed the antimetastatic capacity of the parecoxib/5-FU combination for treating colorectal cancers via the targeting of the PI3K/Akt/NF-κB pathway.

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