Dihydromethysticin (DHM), a natural compound derived from Kava, has been reported to be effective against mental disorders and some malignant tumors. However, little is known about the inhibitory effect of DHM on colorectal cancer (CRC). First, we examined the impact of DHM on human colon cancer cell lines, which demonstrated that DHM inhibits proliferation, migration, and invasion and promotes apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in colon cancer cells in vitro. Using small hairpin RNA, we inhibited nucleotide-oligomerization domain-like receptor subfamily C3 (NLRC3)/phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway to elucidate the partial signaling of DHM-mediated tumor suppression. Additionally, using an ectopic human CRC model, we verified whether DHM inhibits tumor growth and angiogenesis via the NLRC3/PI3K pathway in vivo. Overall, DHM showed an inhibitory effect on CRC by altering cell proliferation, migration, invasion, apoptosis, cell cycle, and angiogenesis, possibly via the NLRC3/PI3K pathway. Thus, DHM may be a promising candidate for CRC therapy.
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