A novel screen using the Reck tumor suppressor gene promoter detects both conventional and metastasis-suppressing anticancer drugs
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Received: July 9, 2010, Accepted: July 30, 2010, Published: August 6, 2010The membrane-anchored matrix metalloproteinase-regulator RECK is often downregulated in various types of cancers; the levels of residual RECK in resected tumors often correlate with better prognosis. Forced expression of RECK in cancer cells suppresses tumor angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis in xenograft models. RECK is therefore a promising marker for benignancy and a potential effector in cancer therapy. We established a cell line containing two transgene systems: (1) the secreted alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) gene fused to Reck promoter and (2) the HRAS12V oncogene driven by the Tet-off promoter system. This cell line exhibits transformed phenotype in regular medium and flat morphology with increased SEAP activity in the presence of doxycycline, allowing the assessment of RECK-inducing activity of chemicals in the contexts of both transformed and untransformed cells. Our pilot experiments with 880 known bioactive compounds detected 34 compounds that activate RECK promoter; among these, 10 were authentic anticancer drugs. Four selected compounds up-regulated endogenous RECK protein in several human cancer cell lines. The top-ranking compound, disulfiram, strongly suppressed spontaneous lung-metastasis of human fibrosarcoma cells in nude mice. Our data demonstrate the value of this screen in discovering effective cancer therapeutics.
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