Research Papers:

The angular structure of ONC201, a TRAIL pathway-inducing compound, determines its potent anti-cancer activity

Jessica Wagner _, Christina Leah Kline, Richard S. Pottorf, Bhaskara Rao Nallaganchu, Gary L. Olson, David T. Dicker, Joshua E. Allen and Wafik S. El-Deiry

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:12728-12737. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2890

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Jessica Wagner1,2, Christina Leah Kline1,2, Richard S. Pottorf3, Bhaskara Rao Nallaganchu3, Gary L. Olson3, David T. Dicker1,2, Joshua E. Allen4, Wafik S. El-Deiry1,2

1Hematology/Oncology Division and Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Penn State University, Hershey, PA, USA

2Laboratory of Translational Oncology and Experimental Cancer Therapeutics, Department of Medical Oncology and Molecular Therapeutics Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA

3Provid Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Monmouth Junction, NJ, USA

4Oncoceutics, Inc., Hummelstown, PA, USA

Correspondence to:

Wafik S. El-Deiry, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: ONC201, TIC10, cancer, TRAIL pathway, Foxo3a, Akt, ERK

Received: December 05, 2014     Accepted: December 09, 2014     Published: January 05, 2015


We previously identified TRAIL-inducing compound 10 (TIC10), also known as NSC350625 or ONC201, from a NCI chemical library screen as a small molecule that has potent anti-tumor efficacy and a benign safety profile in preclinical cancer models. The chemical structure that was originally published by Stahle, et. al. in the patent literature was described as an imidazo[1,2-a]pyrido[4,3-d]pyrimidine derivative. The NCI and others generally accepted this as the correct structure, which was consistent with the mass spectrometry analysis outlined in the publication by Allen et. al. that first reported the molecule's anticancer properties. A recent publication demonstrated that the chemical structure of ONC201 material from the NCI is an angular [3,4-e] isomer of the originally disclosed, linear [4,3-d] structure. Here we confirm by NMR and X-ray structural analysis of the dihydrochloride salt form that the ONC201 material produced by Oncoceutics is the angular [3,4-e] structure and not the linear structure originally depicted in the patent literature and by the NCI. Similarly, in accordance with our biological evaluation, the previously disclosed anti-cancer activity is associated with the angular structure and not the linear isomer. Together these studies confirm that ONC201, produced by Oncoceutics or obtained from the NCI, possesses an angular [3,4-e] structure that represents the highly active anti-cancer compound utilized in prior preclinical studies and now entering clinical trials in advanced cancers.

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