Effect of the acid suppressor omeprazole on the proliferation, migration, invasion and cell cycle of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cells via the aryl hydrocarbon receptor pathway
- Yu Bai
- Peiyao Zhu
- Kun Zhou
- Shu-Guang Zhang
Affiliations: Department of Thoracic Surgery, The First Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning 110001, P.R. China
- Published online on: August 17, 2021 https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2021.10621
Copyright: © Bai
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Esophageal cancer is a malignant tumor type with one of the highest mortality rates worldwide. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), which has been investigated in recent years, has been confirmed to be associated with the occurrence and development of esophageal cancer. AHR has a variety of different ligands, which regulate its activity following binding. The widely known acid inhibitor omeprazole (OME) also affects AHR and its downstream proteins (such as the cytochrome P450 family) by non‑ligand binding; however, the mechanisms have remained to be fully elucidated. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the role of OME in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), whether the mechanism proceeds via the AHR pathway and how OME regulates AHR to affect the occurrence and development of esophageal carcinoma. The AHR‑selective regulator OME was used to treat the ESCC cell lines TE1 and KYSE150. Western blot analysis was used to verify the effect of OME on AHR and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) protein expression levels, while Cell Counting Kit (CCK)‑8, wound‑healing and Transwell assays were used to determine the proliferation, migration and invasion of the ESCCs, respectively, following treatment with OME. In addition, flow cytometry was used to investigate the cell cycle distribution of the ESCCs following incubation with OME. AHR was highly expressed in the ESCCs and following treatment with OME, the protein expression levels of AHR and PCNA were downregulated. The CCK‑8 assay indicated that the proliferation of the ESCCs was also reduced following treatment with OME. Furthermore, flow cytometry revealed a notable block of the cells in G1/G0 phase, while the results of the wound‑healing and Transwell assays respectively suggested that cell migration and invasion were reduced. In conclusion, OME inhibited the proliferation, migration and invasion of ESCC cells and blocked the cell cycle via the AHR pathway, which may provide a therapeutic effect on esophageal squamous cell cancer.