Oncotarget

Research Papers:

Novel indazole-based small compounds enhance TRAIL-induced apoptosis by inhibiting the MKK7-TIPRL interaction in hepatocellular carcinoma

Ji-Yong Yoon, Jeong-Ju Lee, Sujin Gu, Myoung Eun Jung, Hyun-Soo Cho, Jung Hwa Lim, Soo Young Jun, Jun-Ho Ahn, Ju-Sik Min, Min-Hyuk Choi, Su-Jin Jeon, Yong-Jae Lee, Areum Go, Yun-Jeong Heo, Cho-Rok Jung, Gildon Choi, Kwangho Lee, Moon-Kook Jeon and Nam-Soon Kim _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:112610-112622. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.22614

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Abstract

Ji-Yong Yoon1,*, Jeong-Ju Lee1,*, Sujin Gu2, Myoung Eun Jung2, Hyun-Soo Cho1,4, Jung Hwa Lim3,4, Soo Young Jun1,4, Jun-Ho Ahn1, Ju-Sik Min1, Min-Hyuk Choi1,4, Su-Jin Jeon1,4, Yong-Jae Lee1, Areum Go2,5, Yun-Jeong Heo2, Cho-Rok Jung3,4, Gildon Choi2,5, Kwangho Lee2,5, Moon-Kook Jeon2 and Nam-Soon Kim1,4

1Genome Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Daejeon, 305-333, Republic of Korea

2Bio and Drug Discovery Division, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, Daejeon, 34114, Republic of Korea

3Gene Therapy Research Unit, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Daejeon, 305-333, Republic of Korea

4Department of Functional Genomics, Korea University of Science and Technology, Daejeon, 34113, Republic of Korea

5Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology, Korea University of Science and Technology, Daejeon, 34113, Republic of Korea

*Co-first authors

Correspondence to:

Nam-Soon Kim, email: nskim37@kribb.re.kr

Moon-Kook Jeon, email: moteta@krict.re.kr

Keywords: TIPRL, apoptosis, HCC, TRAIL sensitizer

Received: January 25, 2017     Accepted: September 29, 2017     Published: November 03, 2017

ABSTRACT

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most malignant tumors. Although various treatments, such as surgery and chemotherapy, have been developed, a novel alternative therapeutic approach for HCC therapy is urgently needed. Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promising anti-cancer agent, but many cancer cells are resistant to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. To help overcome TRAIL resistance in HCC cancer cells, we have identified novel chemical compounds that act as TRAIL sensitizers. We first identified the hit compound, TRT-0002, from a chemical library of 6,000 compounds using a previously developed high-throughput enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) screening system, which was based on the interaction of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 7 (MKK7) and TOR signaling pathway regulator-like (TIPRL) proteins and a cell viability assay. To increase the efficacy of this TRAIL sensitizer, we synthesized 280 analogs of TRT-0002 and finally identified two lead compounds (TRT-0029 and TRT-0173). Co-treating cultured Huh7 cells with either TRT-0029 or TRT-0173 and TRAIL resulted in TRAIL-induced apoptosis due to the inhibition of the MKK7-TIPRL interaction and subsequent phosphorylation of MKK7 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). In vivo, injection of these compounds and TRAIL into HCC xenograft tumors resulted in tumor regression. Taken together, our results suggest that the identified lead compounds serve as TRAIL sensitizers and represent a novel strategy to overcome TRAIL resistance in HCC.


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