The Open Biochemistry Journal

ISSN: 1874-091X ― Volume 14, 2020

Co-Administration of Fish Oil With Signal Transduction Inhibitors Has Anti-Migration Effects in Breast Cancer Cell Lines, in vitro

Zoë Davison, Robert I. Nicholson, Stephen Hiscox, Charles M. Heard*
School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff University, CF10 3NB, Cardiff, United Kingdom



There is an urgent need for new therapies to treat cancer metastasis. Fish oil, with high omega 3 fatty acid content, has shown anticancer activity and signal transduction inhibitors have shown anti-metastatic properties.


To provide preliminary in vitro data on the anti-migration potential of signal transduction inhibitors and co-administered fish oil.


MCF-7, TamR and FasR breast cancer cell lines were used to determine the effects of combinations of PD98059, LY294002 and fish oil in growth assays. Modulations of p-Src and COX-2, both mediators of motility and invasion, were then determined by Western blotting and IHC to ascertain effects on migration potential.


Migration rates for the three cell lines examined were ranked: FasR>TamR>MCF-7 (p <0.05). Addition of fish oil reduced the number of TamR cells migrating after 48h (p <0.05), while the addition of PD98059 and LY294002 also decreased migratory potential of TamR cells (p <0.05). Addition of PD98059 and LY294002 to TamR cells did not result in a significant decrease in p-Src levels; as was the case when PD98059, LY294002 and 4-hydroxytamoxifen were added to MCF-7 cells. However, the co-administration of fish oil markedly reduced p-Src and COX-2 expression in both cell lines.


Co-administration of a commercial fish oil with signal transduction inhibitors results in decreased cell migration via an unknown co-operative mechanism and could constitute a novel approach for the treatment of breast cancer metastasis.

Keywords: Cancer, Cell migration, Signal transduction inhibitor, PD98059, LY294002, Fish oil.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2018
Volume: 12
First Page: 130
Last Page: 148
Publisher Id: TOBIOCJ-12-130
DOI: 10.2174/1874091X01812010130

Article History:

Received Date: 11/6/2018
Revision Received Date: 16/8/2018
Acceptance Date: 17/8/2018
Electronic publication date: 31/08/2018
Collection year: 2018

© 2018 Davison et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff University, CF10 3NB, Cardiff, United Kingdom; Tel: +442920875819; Fax +44 2920 875819, E-mail: All authors contributed equally to the work.

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