Mechanism Based Anticancer Drugs that Degrade Sp Transcription Factors
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Curcumin is the active component of tumeric, and this polyphenolic compound has been extensively investigated as an anticancer drug that modulates multiple pathways and genes. We demonstrated that curcumin inhibited 253JB-V and KU7 bladder cancer cell growth, and this was accompanied by induction of apoptosis and decreased expression of the proapoptotic protein survivin and the angiogenic proteins vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and VEGF receptor 1 (VEGFR1). Since expression of survivin, VEGF and VEGFR1 are dependent on specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors, we also investigated the effects of curcumin on downregulation of Sp protein expression as an underlying mechanism for the apoptotic and antiangiogenic activity of this compound. Curcumin decreases expression of Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 in blader cancer cells indicating that the cancer chemotherapeutic activity of curcumin is due, in part, to decreased expression of Sp transcription factors and Sp-dependent genes. Betulinic acid (BA) and curcumin are phytochemical anticancer agents, and we hypothesized that both compounds decrease EGFR expression in bladder cancer through downregulation of specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors. BA and curcumin decreased expression of EGFR, Sp1, Sp3, Sp4 and Sp-dependent proteins in 253JB-V and KU7 cells; EGFR was also decreased in cells transfected with a cocktail (iSp) containing small inhibitory RNAs for Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 showing that EGFR is an Sp-regulated gene. Methyl 2-cyano-3,11-dioxo-18?-olean-1,12- dien-30-oate (CDODA-Me) is a synthetic triterpenoid derived from glycyrrhetinic acid which inhibits proliferation of KU7 and 253JB-V bladder cancer cells. CDODA-Me also decreased expression of specificity protein-1 (Sp1), Sp3 and Sp4 transcription factors. Similar results were observed for a structurally-related triterpenoid, methyl 2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9-dien-28-oate (CDDO-Me), which is currently in clinical trials for treatment of leukemia. Celastrol, a naturally occurring triterpenoid acid from an ivy-like vine exhibits anticancer activity against bladder cancer cells. Celastrol decreased cell proliferation, induced apoptosis and decreased expression of specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 and several Sp-dependent genes like Fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3). In vivo studies using KU7 cells as xenografts showed that celastrol represents novel class of anticancer drugs that acts, in part, through targeting downregulation of Sp transcription factors.
Chadalapaka, Gayathri (2009). Mechanism Based Anticancer Drugs that Degrade Sp Transcription Factors. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from