Research Papers:

Reactivation of wild-type and mutant p53 by tryptophanolderived oxazoloisoindolinone SLMP53-1, a novel anticancer small-molecule

Joana Soares, Liliana Raimundo, Nuno A.L. Pereira, Ângelo Monteiro, Sara Gomes, Cláudia Bessa, Clara Pereira, Glória Queiroz, Alessandra Bisio, João Fernandes, Célia Gomes, Flávio Reis, Jorge Gonçalves, Alberto Inga, Maria M.M. Santos _ and Lucília Saraiva

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:4326-4343. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6775

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Joana Soares1,2, Liliana Raimundo1,2, Nuno A.L. Pereira4, Ângelo Monteiro4, Sara Gomes1,2, Cláudia Bessa1,2, Clara Pereira1,2, Glória Queiroz3, Alessandra Bisio5, João Fernandes6, Célia Gomes6, Flávio Reis6, Jorge Gonçalves3, Alberto Inga5, Maria M.M. Santos4, Lucília Saraiva1,2

1UCIBIO/REQUIMTE, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal

2Laboratório de Microbiologia, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal

3Laboratório de Farmacologia, Departamento de Ciências do Medicamento, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal

4Research Institute for Medicines (iMed.ULisboa), Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal

5CIBIO, Centre for Integrative Biology, Laboratory of Transcriptional Networks, University of Trento, Trento, Italy

6Laboratório de Farmacologia e Terapêutica Experimental, IBILI, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

Correspondence to:

Maria M.M. Santos, e-mail: [email protected]

Lucília Saraiva, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: tumor, p53, mutant, tryptophanol-derived oxazoloisoindolinones, anticancer chemotherapy

Received: June 17, 2015     Accepted: November 28, 2015     Published: December 28, 2015


Restoration of the p53 pathway, namely by reactivation of mutant (mut) p53, represents a valuable anticancer strategy. Herein, we report the identification of the enantiopure tryptophanol-derived oxazoloisoindolinone SLMP53-1 as a novel reactivator of wild-type (wt) and mut p53, using a yeast-based screening strategy. SLMP53-1 has a p53-dependent anti-proliferative activity in human wt and mut p53R280K-expressing tumor cells. Additionally, SLMP53-1 enhances p53 transcriptional activity and restores wt-like DNA binding ability to mut p53R280K. In wt/mut p53-expressing tumor cells, SLMP53-1 triggers p53 transcription-dependent and mitochondrial apoptotic pathways involving BAX, and wt/mut p53 mitochondrial translocation. SLMP53-1 inhibits the migration of wt/mut p53-expressing tumor cells, and it shows promising p53-dependent synergistic effects with conventional chemotherapeutics. In xenograft mice models, SLMP53-1 inhibits the growth of wt/mut p53-expressing tumors, but not of p53-null tumors, without apparent toxicity. Collectively, besides the potential use of SLMP53-1 as anticancer drug, the tryptophanol-derived oxazoloisoindolinone scaffold represents a promissing starting point for the development of effective p53-reactivating drugs.

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