Research Papers:

Interaction of antihistaminic drugs with human translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP) as novel approach for differentiation therapy

Ean-Jeong Seo _ and Thomas Efferth

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:16818-16839. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7605

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Ean-Jeong Seo1, Thomas Efferth1

1Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Johannes Gutenberg University, 55128 Mainz, Germany

Correspondence to:

Thomas Efferth, e-mail: efferth@uni-mainz.de

Keywords: translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP), antihistaminic compounds, levomepromazine, buclizine, cancer differentiation therapy

Received: September 01, 2015    Accepted: January 19, 2016    Published: February 23, 2016


Translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP) represents an exquisite target for cancer differentiation therapy, because it was most strikingly down-regulated in tumor reversion experiments. Since TCTP is identical with the histamine releasing factor, antihistamic drugs may inhibit TCTP. Indeed, antihistaminics, such as promethazine, thioridazine, perphemazine and chlorpromazine reveal antiproliferative effects. The aim of this investigation was to study antihistaminic drugs as new TCTP inhibitors to inhibit tumor growth. Levomepromazine and buclizine showed higher in silico binding affinities to TCTP among 12 different antihistaminic compounds including the control drugs, promethazine and hydroxyzine by using Autodock4 and AutodockTools-1.5.7.rc1. Recombinant human TCTP was codon-optimized, expressed in E. coli and purified by chitin affinity chromatography. For experimental validation of in silico data, we applied microscale thermophoresis. Levomepromazine bound with a Kd of 57.2 μM (p < 0.01) and buclizine with a Kd of 433μM (p < 0.01) to recombinant TCTP. Both drugs inhibited MCF-7 breast cancer cell growth in resazurin assays. TCTP expression was down-regulated after treatment with the two drugs. Cell cycle was arrested in the G1 phase without apoptosis as confirmed by the expression of cell cycle and apoptosis-regulating proteins. Annexin V-PI staining and Trypan blue exclusion assay supported that the two drugs are cytostatic rather than cytotoxic. Induction of differentiation with two drugs was detected by the increased appearance of lipid droplets. In conclusion, levomepromazine and buclizine inhibited cancer cell growth by binding to TCTP and induction of cell differentiation. These compounds may serve as lead compounds for cancer differentiation therapy.

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