Despite an initial response from androgen deprivation therapy, most prostate cancer patients relapse to a hormone-refractory state where tumors still remain dependent on androgen receptor (AR) function. We have previously shown that AR breakdown correlates with the induction of cancer cell apoptosis by proteasome inhibition. However, the involvement of AR in modulating the cell death pathway has remained elusive. To investigate this, we used an experimental model consisting of parental PC-3 prostate cancer cells that lack AR expression and PC-3 cells stably overexpressing wild type AR gene. Here, we report that both chemotherapeutic drugs (cisplatin) and proteasome inhibitors induced caspase-3-associated cell death in parental PC-3 cells whereas non-caspase-3 associated cell death in PC3-AR cells. The involvement of AR in modulating tumor cell death was further confirmed in PC-3 cells transiently expressing AR. Consistently, treatment with the clinically used proteasome inhibitor Bortezomib (Velcade/PS-341) of (AR+) LNCaP prostate cancer cells caused AR cleavage and cell death with low levels of caspase activation. However, co-treatment with Bortezomib and the AR antagonist Bicalutamide (Casodex) caused significant decrease in AR expression associated with an increase in caspase-3 activity in both LNCaP and PC3-AR cells. Thus our results provide compelling evidence for involvement of AR in deciding types of tumor cell death upon cytotoxic stimuli, and specifically, blockade of AR activities could change necrosis to apoptosis in tumor cells. Our findings may help guide clinicians based on AR status in the design of favorable treatment strategies for prostate cancer patients.
Androgen receptor; proteasome inhibitor; cell death; caspase-3; necrosis; calpain
(−)-Epigallocatechin gallate [(−)-EGCG] has been implicated in cancer chemoprevention and has been shown as an inhibitor of tumor proteasomal chymotrypsin-like activity in vitro and in vivo. However, EGCG is subjected to rapid biotransforming modifications such as methylation by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) that limits its action. We recently reported that structure 7, an EGCG analog which should be resistant to COMT-mediated methylation and inactivation in cells, was able to inhibit the activity of purified 20S proteasome and cellular 26S proteasome. However, the involved molecular mechanism is unknown. Herein, we applied computational solution to understand the possible interaction between EGCG analogs including structure 7 and the proteasome β5 subunit which is responsible for the chymotrypsin-like activity. We report that the ester carbonyls at C2 and C3 carbon atoms may be the active sites for nucleophilic attack in structure 7 and 5. Equally spaced carbon atoms in COMT-resistant structure 7 give more stable conformation and lower docked free energy than other EGCG analogs. The absence of a second gallate group in structure 16 and 21 significantly decreases the ability to inhibit the proteasome.
catechol-O-methyltransferase; methylation; proteasome inhibitor; (−)-epigallocatechin gallate; computational docking; cancer
Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world and has been studied extensively as a health-promoting beverage that may act to prevent a number of chronic diseases and cancers. (-)-Epigallocatechin gallate [(-)-EGCG], a major component in green tea, is unstable under physiological conditions and methylation of (-)-EGCG by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a modification that reduces the biological activity of (-)-EGCG. In the current study, we hypothesized that suppression of COMT activity in human breast cancer cells could increase the proteasome-inhibitory potency of (-)-EGCG and therefore enhance its tumor cell growth-inhibitory activity. We first determined the COMT genotype and basal levels of COMT activity in various human breast cancer cell lines. Furthermore, when breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells containing high COMT activity were tested, the diminished COMT activity apparently increased the effectiveness of (-)-EGCG via augmented proteasome inhibition and apoptosis induction. This study supplements the previous findings that methylated (-)-EGCG is less bioactive and supports the notion that COMT inhibition may increase the anti-cancer properties of tea polyphenols and the combination may serve as a novel approach or supplemental treatment for breast cancer chemotherapy.
epigallocatechin gallate; catechol-O-methyltransferase; proteasome inhibition; apoptosis; breast cancer
The molecular mechanisms of triptolide responsible for its antitumor properties are not yet fully understood. The ubiquitin/proteasome system is an important pathway of protein degradation in cells. This study investigated whether triptolide may inhibit proteasomal activity and induce apoptosis in human cancer cells.
Materials and Methods
In vitro proteasome inhibition was measured by incubation of a purified 20S proteasome with triptolide. Human breast and prostate cancer cell lines were also treated with different doses of triptolide for different times, followed by measurement of proteasome inhibition (levels of the chymotrypsin-like activity, ubiquitinated proteins and three well-known proteasome target proteins, p27, IκB-α and Bax) and apoptosis induction (caspase-3 activity and PARP cleavage).
Triptolide did not inhibit the chymotrypsin-like activity of purified 20S proteasome. However, treatment of triptolide was able to cause decreased levels of cellular proteasomal chymotrypsin-like activity and accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins and three well-known proteasome target proteins in human breast and prostate cancer cells, associated with apoptosis induction.
It is possible that at least one of metabolites of triptolide has proteasome-inhibitory activity.
Triptolide; medicinal compounds; proteasome inhibitors; apoptosis; cancer therapy
Since androgen receptor (AR) plays an important role in prostate cancer development and progression, androgen-ablation has been the frontline therapy for treatment of advanced prostate cancer even though it is rarely curative. A curative strategy should involve functional and structural elimination of AR from prostate cancer cells. We have previously reported that apoptosis induced by medicinal proteasome-inhibitory compound celastrol is associated with a decrease in AR protein levels. However celastrol-stimulated events contributing to this AR decrease have not been elucidated. Here, we report that a variety of chemotherapeutic agents, including proteasome inhibitors, a topoisomerase inhibitor, DNA–damaging agents and docetaxel that cause cell death, decrease AR levels in LNCaP prostate cancer cells. This decrease in AR protein levels was not due to the suppression of AR mRNA expression in these cells. We observed that a proteolytic activity residing in cytosol of prostate cancer cells is responsible for AR breakdown and that this proteolytic activity was stimulated upon induction of apoptosis. Interestingly, proteasome inhibitor celastrol- and chemotherapeutic drug VP-16-stimulated AR breakdown was attenuated by calpain inhibitors calpastatin and N-Acetyl-L-leucyl-L-leucyl-L-methioninal. Furthermore, AR proteolytic activity pulled down by calmodulin-agarose beads from celastrol-treated PC-3 cells showed immunoreactivity to a calpain antibody. Taken together, these results demonstrate calpain involvement in proteasome inhibitor-induced AR breakdown, and suggest that AR degradation is intrinsic to the induction of apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.
proteasome inhibitors; anticancer drugs; prostate cancer; apoptosis; cell death
Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds widely distributed in the plant kingdom. Compelling research indicates that flavonoids have important roles in cancer chemoprevention and chemotherapy possibly due to biological activities that include action through anti-inflammation, free radical scavenging, modulation of survival/proliferation pathways, and inhibition of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Plant polyphenols including the green tea polyphenol, (-)-epigallocatechin gallate or (-)-EGCG, and the flavonoids apigenin, luteolin, quercetin, and chrysin have been shown to inhibit proteasome activity and induce apoptosis in human leukemia cells. However, biotransformation reactions to the reactive hydroxyl groups on polyphenols could reduce their biological activities. Although methylated polyphenols have been suggested to be metabolically more stable than unmethylated polyphenols, the practical use of methylated polyphenols as a cancer preventative agent warrants further investigation. In the current study, methylated and unmethylated flavonoids were studied for their proteasome-inhibitory and apoptosis-inducing abilities in human leukemia HL60 cells. Methylated flavonoids displayed sustained bioavailability and inhibited cellular proliferation by arresting cells in the G1 phase. However, they did not act as proteasome inhibitors in either an in vitro system or an in silico model and only weakly induced apoptosis. In contrast, unmethylated flavonoids exhibited inhibition of the proteasomal activity in intact HL60 cells, accumulating proteasome target proteins and inducing caspase activation and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage. We conclude that methylated flavonoids lack potent cytotoxicity against human leukemia cells and most likely have limited ability as chemopreventive agents.
Methylated flavonoids; Proteasome inhibitors; Apoptosis; Cell cycle progression
Many plant-derived, dietary polyphenols have been studied for their chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic properties against human cancers, including green tea polyphenols, genistein (found in soy), apigenin (celery, parsley), luteolin (broccoli), quercetin (onions), kaempferol (broccoli, grapefruits), curcumin (turmeric), etc. The more we understand their involved molecular mechanisms and cellular targets, the better we could utilize these “natural gifts” for the prevention and treatment of human cancer. Furthermore, better understanding of their structure-activity relationships will guide synthesis of analog compounds with improved bio-availability, stability, potency and specificity. This review focuses on green tea polyphenols and seeks to summarize several reported biological effects of tea polyphenols in human cancer systems, highlight the molecular targets and pathways identified, and discuss the role of tea polyphenols in the prevention and treatment of human cancer. The review also briefly describes several other dietary polyphenols and their biological effects on cancer prevention and chemotherapy.
tea polyphenols; cancer prevention; chemotherapy
The development of tumor drug resistance is one of the biggest obstacles on the way to achieve a favorable outcome of chemotherapy. Among various strategies that have been explored to overcome drug resistance, the combination of current chemotherapy with plant polyphenols as a chemosensitizer has emerged as a promising one. Plant polyphenols are a group of phytochemicals characterized by the presence of more than one phenolic group. Mechanistic studies suggest that polyphenols have multiple intracellular targets, one of which is the proteasome complex. The proteasome is a proteolytic enzyme complex responsible for intracellular protein degradation and has been shown to play an important role in tumor growth and the development of drug resistance. Therefore, proteasome inhibition by plant polyphenols could be one of the mechanisms contributing to their chemosensitizing effect. Plant polyphenols that have been identified to possess proteasome-inhibitory activity include (−)-epigallocatechins-3-gallate (EGCG), genistein, luteolin, apigenin, chrysin, quercetin, curcumin and tannic acid. These polyphenols have exhibited an appreciable effect on overcoming resistance to various chemotherapeutic drugs as well as multidrug resistance in a broad spectrum of tumors ranging from carcinoma and sarcoma to hematological malignances. The in vitro and in vivo studies on polyphenols with proteasome-inhibitory activity have built a solid foundation to support the idea that they could serve as a chemosensitizer for the treatment of cancer. In-depth mechanistic studies and identification of optimal regimen are needed in order to eventually translate this laboratory concept into clinical trials to actually benefit current chemotherapy.
Polyphenols; flavonoids; EGCG; genistein; curcumin; structure-activity relationship; ubiquitin-proteasome pathway; proteasome inhibitors; bortezomib; chemotherapy; drug resistance; NF-κB; Bcl-2; chemosensitization; clinical trials
New complexes [Pt(C^N)Cl(dppa)], 1, and [Pt(C^N)Cl(dppm)], 2, C^N, deprotonated 2-phenylpyridine; dppa, bis(diphenylphosphino)amine; dppm, bis(diphenylphosphino)methane, were suggested to have penta-coordinated geometry, as investigated by NMR and conductometry. Pharmacological effects of 1 and 2 were evaluated for their proteasome-inhibitory and apoptosis-inducing activities under in vitro and in vivo conditions, showing significant proteasome-inhibitory activity against purified 20S proteasome, while 2 demonstrated superior inhibitory activity against cellular 26S proteasome. Consistently, this effect was associated with higher levels of proteasome target proteins and apoptosis induction in breast cancer cells. Importantly, preliminary studies show 1 and 2 were able to exert a similar effect in vivo by inhibiting the growth of breast cancer xenografts in mice, which was associated with proteasome inhibition and apoptosis induction. Interaction of 1 and 2 with herring sperm DNA was investigated by fluorimeteric emission suggesting that PtII-containing biphosphine complexes with DNA binding capabilities can also target and inhibit the tumor proteasome.
Proteasome inhibitors; apoptosis inducers; Antitumor agents; Platinum; Cyclometalation
The medicinal plant Withania somnifera has been used for over centuries in Indian Ayurvedic Medicine to treat a wide spectrum of disorders. Withaferin A (WA), a bioactive compound that is isolated from this plant, has anti-inflammatory, immuno-modulatory, anti-angiogenic, and anti-cancer properties. Here we investigated malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) suppressive effects of WA and the molecular mechanisms involved. WA inhibited growth of the murine as well as patient-derived MPM cells in part by decreasing the chymotryptic activity of the proteasome that resulted in increased levels of ubiquitinated proteins and pro-apoptotic proteasome target proteins (p21, Bax, IκBα). WA suppression of MPM growth also involved elevated apoptosis as evidenced by activation of pro-apoptotic p38 stress activated protein kinase (SAPK) and caspase-3, elevated levels of pro-apoptotic Bax protein and cleavage of poly-(ADP-ribose)-polymerase (PARP). Our studies including gene-array based analyses further revealed that WA suppressed a number of cell growth and metastasis-promoting genes including c-myc. WA treatments also stimulated expression of the cell cycle and apoptosis regulatory protein (CARP)-1/CCAR1, a novel transducer of cell growth signaling. Knock-down of CARP-1, on the other hand, interfered with MPM growth inhibitory effects of WA. Intra-peritoneal administration of 5 mg/kg WA daily inhibited growth of murine MPM cell-derived tumors in vivo in part by inhibiting proteasome activity and stimulating apoptosis. Together our in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that WA suppresses MPM growth by targeting multiple pathways that include blockage of proteasome activity and stimulation of apoptosis, and thus holds promise as an anti-MPM agent.
Tea is a widely consumed beverage and its constituent polyphenols have been associated with potential health benefits. Although black tea polyphenols have been reported to possess potent anticancer activities, the effect of its polyphenols, theaflavins on the tumor’s cellular proteasome function, an important biological target in cancer prevention, has not been carefully studied. Here black tea extract (T5550) enriched in theaflavins inhibited the chymotrypsin-like (CT) activity of the proteasome and proliferation of human multiple myeloma cells in a dose-dependent manner. Also an isolated theaflavin (TF-1) can bind to, and inhibit the purified 20S proteasome, accompanied by suppression of tumor cell proliferation, suggesting that the tumor proteasome is an important target whose inhibition is at least partially responsible for the anti-cancer effects of black tea.
Black tea; theaflavins; proteasome; Arp; Opm1 multiple myeloma cells
The proteasome plays a vital role in the degradation of proteins involved in several pathways including the cell cycle, cellular proliferation and apoptosis and is a validated target in cancer treatment. Bortezomib (Velcade®, PS-341) is the first US FDA approved proteasome inhibitor anticancer drug used in the treatment of refractory multiple myeloma. In spite of its improved efficacy compared to alternative therapies, about 60% of patients do not respond to bortezomib due to the emergence of resistance. We hypothesized that novel small molecules could enhance the proteasome-inhibitory and anticancer activities of bortezomib in resistant multiple myeloma cells in vitro and in vivo. The dietary polyphenol curcumin has been shown to exert anti-cancer activity in several cancer cell lines, but the effects of curcumin in solid tumors have been modest primarily due to poor water solubility and poor bioavailability in tissues remote from the gastrointestinal tract. Here we show that the water-soluble analog of curcumin #12, but not curcumin, in combination with bortezomib could enhance the proteasome-inhibitory effect in multiple myeloma cells. Furthermore, the sensitivity of the myeloma cells to cytotoxic killing in the presence of otherwise sublethal concentrations of bortezomib was enhanced by incubation with the curcumin analog #12. These findings justify further investigation into those combinations that may yield potential therapeutic benefit.
multiple myeloma; bortezomib; curcumin; curcumin analogs; drug resistance
Proteasomes are large multicatalytic proteinase complexes located in the cytosol and the nucleus of eukaryotic cells. The ubiquitin-proteasome system is responsible for the degradation of most intracellular proteins and therefore plays an essential regulatory role in critical cellular processes including cell cycle progression, proliferation, differentiation, angiogenesis and apoptosis. Besides involving in normal cellular functions and homeostasis, the alteration of proteasomal activity contributes to the pathological states of several clinical disorders including inflammation, neurodegeneration and cancer. It has been reported that human cancer cells possess elevated level of proteasome activity and are more sensitive to proteasome inhibitors than normal cells, indicating that the inhibition of the ubiquitin-proteasome system could be used as a novel approach for cancer therapy. In this review we summarize several specific aspects of research for the proteasome complex, including the structure and catalytic activities of the proteasome, properties and mechanisms of action of various proteasome inhibitors, and finally the clinical development of proteasome inhibitors as novel anticancer agents.
Ubiqitin-proteasome pathway; proteasome inhibitors; anti-cancer drugs; chemotherapy
Terpenoids represent a large and diverse class of naturally occurring compounds found in a variety of fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants. Structurally some of the terpenoids are similar to human hormones. A diet rich in terpenoids is inversely related with the risk of chronic diseases including cancers. Breast and prostate cancers are hormone-related diseases and the second leading cause of female and male cancer mortality. Diterpenoid paclitaxel, and its semi-synthetic analogue docetaxel, have entered clinical use against established breast and prostate cancers. Here we reviewed potential molecular targets and biological properties of natural terpenoids, including monoterpenoids, diterpenoids, triterpenoids and tetraterpenoids, and their applications in treatment of human breast and prostate cancers. These terpenoids are able to inhibit tumor cell proliferation and induce tumor cell death by inhibiting multiple cancer-specific targets including the proteasome, NF-κB, and antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2. The efficacy of these terpenoids against breast or prostate cancer cells, as demonstrated in pre-clinical studies supports clinical application of these naturally occurring terpenoids in treatment of hormone-related human cancers.
Terpenoids; breast cancer; prostate cancer; proteasome inhibitors; apoptosis
Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is the main active ingredient of turmeric, a traditional herbal medicine and food of south Asia. Curcumin has been found to have a wide range of biological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic activities. Curcumin is currently being tested in clinical trials for treatment of various types of cancers, including multiple myeloma, pancreatic cancer and colon cancer. Although no toxicity associated with curcumin (even at very high doses) has been observed, the effects of curcumin in other solid tumors have been modest, primarily due to poor water solubility and poor bioavailability in tissues remote from the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, there is a need for the discovery of curcumin analogs with better water solubility or greater bioavailability for the treatment of solid tumors such as prostate cancer. In this study, curcumin acetates and amino acid conjugates of curcumin were studied in terms of their proteasome inhibitory and antiproliferative effects against several human cancer cell lines. It was found that the water soluble amino acid conjugates of curcumin showed a potent antiproliferative effect and are potent proteasome inhibitors. Docking studies of the curcumin amino acid conjugates for proteasome inhibition were carried out to explain their biological activities. It is suggested that they may serve as the water soluble analogs of curcumin.
curcumin; proteasome inhibitor; cytotoxicity
The proteasome is a multicatalytic protease complex whose activity is required for the growth of normal or tumor cells. It has been shown that human cancer cells are more sensitive to proteasome inhibition than normal cells, indicating that the proteasome could be a target of chemotherapy. Studies suggest that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an effective approach for cancer treatment. Here we reviewed several TCMs for their potential in treatment of cancer. This short review focuses mainly on the TCMs that potentially target the tumor cellular proteasome and NF-κB pathway whose activation is dependent on the proteasome activity.
Proteasome inhibitors; natural products; medicinal compounds; cancer; prevention; treatment
Chemotherapy remains the staple of treatment for many types of leukemia. Despite the positive impact on extending overall survival in patients with hematological malignancies, new treatment strategies are needed to reduce the nonspecific toxicity and improve the efficacy of treatment. Celastrol, derived from the ‘Thunder God Vine’ and Pro-EGCG, a pre-drug version of green tea polyphenol EGCG have shown potent biological activity in vitro and in vivo. Whether these natural products augment the efficacy of conventional chemotherapy in the treatment of leukemia cells has yet to be demonstrated. Here we demonstrate that these natural products could sensitize the effect of chemotherapy in both K-562 and Jurkat T human leukemia cells. Accordingly, this potent biological activity was associated with increased levels of leukemia cell killing, caspase 3 activation, and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage. Furthermore, the higher levels of apoptotic indices were associated with decreased levels of Bcr-Abl oncoprotein in K-562 cells. Taken together, our findings present a compelling rationale for the development of combination strategies using natural products in the treatment of hematological malignancies.
natural products; pro-drug; chemosensitizing; chemotherapy; apoptosis; leukemia
Cancer-preventive effects of tea polyphenols, especially epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), have been demonstrated by epidemiological, preclinical, and clinical studies. Green tea polyphenols such as EGCG have the potential to affect multiple biological pathways, including gene expression, growth factor-mediated pathways, the mitogen-activated protein kinase-dependent pathway, and the ubiquitin/proteasome degradation pathway. Therefore, identification of the molecular targets of EGCG should greatly facilitate a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying its anticancer and cancer-preventive activities. Performing structure–activity relationship (SAR) studies could also greatly enhance the discovery of novel tea polyphenol analogs as potential anticancer and cancer-preventive agents. In this chapter, we review the relevant literature as it relates to the effects of natural and synthetic green tea polyphenols and EGCG analogs on human cancer cells and their potential molecular targets as well as their antitumor effects. We also discuss the implications of green tea polyphenols in cancer prevention.
Shikonin, extracted from medicinal Chinese herb (Lithospermum erythrorhizo), was reported to exert anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects both in vitro and in vivo. We have found that proteasome was a molecular target of shikonin in tumor cells, but whether shikonin targets macrophage proteasome needs to be investigated. In the current study, we report that shikonin inhibited inflammation in mouse models as efficiently as dexamethasone. Shikonin at 4 μM reduced the Lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-mediated TNFα release in rat primary macrophage cultures, and blocked the translocation of p65-NF-κB from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, associated with decreased proteasomal activity. Consistently, shikonin accumulated IκB-α, an inhibitor of NF-κB, and ubiquitinated proteins in rat primary macrophage cultures, demonstrating that the proteasome is a target of shikonin under inflammatory conditions. Shikonin also induced macrophage cell apoptosis and cell death. These results demonstrate for the first time that proteasome inhibition by shikonin contributes to its anti-inflammatory effect. The novel finding about macrophage proteasome as a target of shikonin suggests that this medicinal compound has great potential to be developed into an anti-inflammatory agent.
Shikonin; Proteasome inhibitor; Macrophage; Inflammation
Intracellular protein degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system is ATP-dependent and the optimal ATP concentration to activate proteasome function in vitro is ~100 μM. Intracellular ATP levels are generally in the low millimolar range but ATP at a level within this range was shown to inhibit proteasome peptidase activities in vitro. Here we report new evidence that supports a hypothesis that intracellular ATP at the physiological levels bidirectionally regulates 26S proteasome proteolytic function in the cell. First, we confirmed that ATP exerted bidirectional regulation on the 26S proteasome in vitro, with the optimal ATP concentration (between 50–100 μM) stimulating proteasome chymotrypsin-like activities. Second, we found that manipulating intracellular ATP levels also led to bidirectional changes in the levels of proteasome-specific protein substrates in cultured cells. Finally, measures to increase intracellular ATP enhanced, while decreasing intracellular ATP attenuated, the ability of proteasome inhibition to induce cell death. These data strongly suggest that endogenous ATP within the physiological concentration range can exert a negative impact on proteasome activities, allowing the cell to rapidly up-regulate proteasome activity upon ATP reduction under stress conditions.
ATP; proteasome; regulation; apoptosis
Epidemiological studies support the cancer-preventive effects of green tea and its main constituent (−)-epigallocatechin gallate [(−)-EGCG], however, (−)-EGCG is unstable under physiological conditions. Here we report that two novel fluoro-substituted (−)-EGCG analogs inhibited tumor growth with similar potency to that of Pro-EGCG (1) which has improved potency over parental compound (−)-EGCG in human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 xenografts. MDA-MB-231 tumors treated with each fluoro-substituted (−)-EGCG analog showed proteasome inhibition and apoptotic cell death, suggesting that the proteasome might be one of the cellular targets of fluoro-(−)-EGCGs and that proteasome inhibition is partially responsible for the observed antitumor activity.
Breast cancer; proteasome inhibitor; drug discovery; cancer prevention; tea polyphenol
We have previously reported that when mixed with copper, 8-hydroxyquinoline (8-OHQ) and its analog clioquinol (CQ) inhibited the proteasomal activity and proliferation in cultured human cancer cells. CQ treatment of high copper-containing human tumor xenografts also caused cancer suppression, associated with proteasome inhibition in vivo. However, the nature of copper dependence of these events has not been elucidated experimentally. In the current study, by using chemical probe molecules that mimic structures of 8-OHQ and CQ, but have no copper binding capability, we dissected the complex cellular processes elicited by 8-OHQ-Cu or CQ-Cu mixture and revealed that copper-binding to 8-OHQ or CQ is required for transportation of copper complex into human breast cancer cells and the consequent proteasome-inhibitory, growth-suppressive and apoptosis-inducing activities. In contrast, the non-copper-binding analogs of 8-OHQ or CQ blocked the very first step – copper binding in this chain of events mediated by 8-OHQ-Cu or CQ-Cu.
Copper-dependence; clioquinol; breast cancer; chemical probe; chemical biology
A pro-drug 8 of a synthetic analog 7 is more active in its anti-proliferative activity against human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells possessing high Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) activity than the pro-drugs of EGCG and the analog 5. The higher activity of 8 is attributed to it not being a substrate of COMT.
The total and semi syntheses of (2R, 3R)-epigallocatechin-3-O-(4-hydroxybenzoate), a novel catechin from Cistus salvifolius, was accomplished. The proteasome inhibition and cytotoxic activities of the synthetic compound and its acetyl derivative were studied and compared with (2R, 3R)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the active component from green tea.