Metastasis is the leading cause of tumor-related death from lung cancer. However, limited success has been achieved in the treatment of lung cancer metastasis due to the lack of understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the metastatic process. In this study, Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) cells which expressed green fluorescent protein in the nucleus and red fluorescent protein in the cytoplasm were used to record metastatic process in real-time via a whole-mouse imaging system. Using this system, we show the neddylation inhibitor MLN4924 inhibits multiple steps of the metastatic process, including intravascular survival, extravasation, and formation of metastatic colonies, thus finally suppressing tumor metastasis. Mechanistically, MLN4924 efficiently inhibits the expression of MMP2, MMP9, and vimentin and disrupts the actin cytoskeleton at an early stage to impair invasive potential and subsequently causes a DNA damage response, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis upon long exposure to MLN4924. Furthermore, MMP2 and MMP9 are overexpressed in patient lung adenocarcinoma, which conferred a worse overall survival. Together, targeting the neddylation pathway via MLN4924 suppresses multiple steps of the metastatic process, highlighting the potential therapeutic value of MLN4924 for the treatment of metastatic lung cancer.
- Intravascular survival
- Metastatic colonization