Thiostrepton selectively targets breast cancer cells through inhibition of forkhead box M1 expression
ABSTRACT Elevated expression or activity of the transcription factor forkhead box M1 (FOXM1) is associated with the development and progression of many malignancies, including breast cancer. In this study, we show that the thiazole antibiotic thiostrepton selectively induces cell cycle arrest and cell death in breast cancer cells through down-regulating FOXM1 expression. Crucially, our data show that thiostrepton treatment reduced FOXM1 expression in a time- and dose-dependent manner, independent of de novo protein synthesis and predominantly at transcriptional and gene promoter levels. Our results indicate that thiostrepton can induce cell death through caspase-dependent intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways as well as through caspase-independent death mechanisms, as observed in MCF-7 cells, which are deficient of caspase-3 and caspase-7. Cell cycle analysis showed that thiostrepton induced cell cycle arrest at G(1) and S phases and cell death, concomitant with FOXM1 repression in breast cancer cells. Furthermore, thiostrepton also shows efficacy in repressing breast cancer cell migration, metastasis, and transformation, which are all downstream functional attributes of FOXM1. We also show that overexpression of a constitutively active FOXM1 mutant, DeltaN-FOXM1, can abrogate the antiproliferative effects of thiostrepton. Interestingly, thiostrepton has no affect on FOXM1 expression and proliferation of the untransformed MCF-10A breast epithelial cells. Collectively, our data show that FOXM1 is one of the primary cellular targets of thiostrepton in breast cancer cells and that thiostrepton may represent a novel lead compound for targeted therapy of breast cancer with minimal toxicity against noncancer cells.
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ABSTRACT: Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is a very aggressive thyroid cancer. forkhead box protein M1 (FOXM1) is a member of the forkhead box family of transcription factors involved in control of cell proliferation, chromosomal stability, angiogenesis, and invasion. Here, we show that FOXM1 is significantly increased in ATCs compared with normal thyroid, well-differentiated thyroid carcinomas (papillary and/or follicular), and poorly differentiated thyroid carcinomas (P=0.000002). Upregulation of FOXM1 levels in ATC cells was mechanistically linked to loss-of-function of p53 and to the hyperactivation of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/AKT/FOXO3a pathway. Knockdown of FOXM1 by RNA interference inhibited cell proliferation by arresting cells in G2/M and reduced cell invasion and motility. This phenotype was associated with decreased expression of FOXM1 target genes, like cyclin B1 (CCNB1), polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1), Aurora B (AURKB), S-phase kinase-associated protein 2 (SKP2), and plasminogen activator, urokinase: uPA (PLAU). Pharmacological inhibition of FOXM1 in an orthotopic mouse model of ATC reduced tumor burden and metastasization. All together, these findings suggest that FOXM1 represents an important player in thyroid cancer progression to the anaplastic phenotype and a potential therapeutic target for this fatal cancer.Endocrine Related Cancer 08/2012; 19(5):695-710. DOI:10.1530/ERC-12-0031 · 4.91 Impact Factor