Exp Mol Med.  2008 Oct;40(5):486-494. 10.3858/emm.2008.40.5.486.

Inhibitory effect of capsaicin on B16-F10 melanoma cell migration via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt/Rac1 signal pathway

  • 1Department of General Surgery, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
  • 2Institute for Medical Science, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
  • 3National Institute of Toxicological Research, Korea Food and Drug Administration, Seoul, Korea. receptacle@hanmail.net


Capsaicin (trans-8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide), the major pungent ingredient of red pepper, has been reported to possess anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic activities. In this study, the anti-migration activity of capsaicin on highly metastatic B16-F10 melanoma cells was investigated. Capsaicin significantly inhibited the migration of melanoma cells without showing obvious cellular cytotoxicity at low doses. This effect correlated with the down-regulation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) and its downstream target, Akt. Although B16-F10 cell migration was increased by the PI3-K activator through the activation of Akt, these PI3-K activator-induced phenomena were attenuated by capsaicin. Moreover, capsaicin was found to significantly inhibit Rac1 activity in a pull-down assay. These results demonstrate that capsaicin inhibits the migration of B16-F10 cells through the inhibition of the PI3-K/Akt/Rac1 signal pathway. The present investigation suggests that capsaicin targets PI3-K/Akt/ Rac1-mediated cellular events in B16-F10 melanoma cells. Consequently, capsaicin administration should be considered an effective approach for the suppression of invasion and metastasis in malignant melanoma chemotherapy.


capsaicin; cell migration inhibition; cell movement; melanoma; 1-phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; proto-oncogene proteins c-akt; rac1 GTP-binding protein

MeSH Terms

1-Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase/*metabolism
Cell Line, Tumor
Cell Movement/*drug effects
Cell Survival/drug effects
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
Melanoma, Experimental/metabolism/pathology/physiopathology
Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/*metabolism
Signal Transduction/*drug effects
rac1 GTP-Binding Protein/*metabolism
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