Journal Article

OSU-A9, a potent indole-3-carbinol derivative, suppresses breast tumor growth by targeting the Akt–NF-κB pathway and stress response signaling

Jing-Ru Weng, Chen-Hsun Tsai, Hany A. Omar, Aaron M. Sargeant, Dasheng Wang, Samuel K. Kulp, Charles L. Shapiro and Ching-Shih Chen

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 30, issue 10, pages 1702-1709
Published in print October 2009 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online August 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgp202
OSU-A9, a potent indole-3-carbinol derivative, suppresses breast tumor growth by targeting the Akt–NF-κB pathway and stress response signaling

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The molecular heterogeneity of human tumors challenges the development of effective preventive and therapeutic strategies. To overcome this issue, a rational approach is the concomitant targeting of clinically relevant cellular abnormalities with combination therapy or a potent multi-targeted agent. OSU-A9 is a novel indole-3-carbinol derivative that retains the parent compound's ability to perturb multiple components of oncogenic signaling, but provides marked advantages in chemical stability and antitumor potency. Here, we show that OSU-A9 exhibits two orders of magnitude greater potency than indole-3-carbinol in inducing apoptosis in various breast cancer cell lines with distinct genetic abnormalities, including MCF-7, MDA-MB-231 and SKBR3, with the half maximal inhibitory concentration in the range of 1.2–1.8 μM vis-à-vis 200 μM for indole-3-carbinol. This differential potency was paralleled by OSU-A9’s superior activity against multiple components of the Akt–nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) and stress response signaling pathways. Notable among these were the increased estrogen receptor (ER)-β/ERα expression ratio, reduced expression of HER2 and CXCR4 and the upregulation of aryl hydrocarbon receptor expression and its downstream target NF-E2 p45-regulated factor (Nrf2). Non-malignant MCF-10A cells were resistant to OSU-A9’s antiproliferative effects. Daily oral administration of OSU-A9 at 25 and 50 mg/kg for 49 days significantly inhibited MCF-7 tumor growth by 59 and 70%, respectively, without overt signs of toxicity or evidence of induced hepatic biotransformation enzymes. In summary, OSU-A9 is a potent, orally bioavailable inhibitor of the Akt–NF-κB signaling network, targeting multiple aspects of breast tumor pathogenesis and progression. Thus, its translational potential for the treatment or prevention of breast cancer warrants further investigation.

Journal Article.  5223 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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