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.
"The fact that this effect is only seen in cancer cells, but not in non-malignant cells, indicates that cancer cells are addicted to FOXM1 overexpression  . Furthermore, breast cancer cells treated with thiostrepton also become less migratory and invasive . The exact mechanism of action of both thiostrepton and Siomycin A is unclear, but could be related to their ability to bind to the FKH DNA-binding domain of FOXM1, thereby preventing FOXM1 from binding to its target genes . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: FOXM1 is a transcription factor required for a wide spectrum of essential biological functions, including DNA damage repair, cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, cell renewal, cell differentiation and tissue homeostasis. Recent evidence suggests that FOXM1 also has a role in many aspects of the DNA damage response. Accordingly, FOXM1 drives the transcription of genes for DNA damage sensors, mediators, signal transducers and effectors. As a result of these functions, it plays an integral part in maintaining the integrity of the genome and so is key to the propagation of accurate genetic information to the next generation. Preserving the genetic code is a vital means of suppressing cancer and other genetic diseases. Conversely, FOXM1 is also a potent oncogenic factor that is essential for cancer initiation, progression and drug resistance. An enhanced FOXM1 DNA damage repair gene expression network can confer resistance to genotoxic agents. Developing a thorough understanding of the regulation and function of FOXM1 in DNA damage response will improve the diagnosis and treatment of diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative conditions and immunodeficiency disorders. It will also benefit cancer patients with acquired genotoxic agent resistance.
"To test if FOXM1 inactivation is a viable strategy for overcoming docetaxel resistance, we studied the effects of AGS-DOCR cells treated with FOXM1 inhibitor thiostrepton . In result, MTT assays revealed that docetaxel resistant cells exhibited a significant reduction in the rate of cell viability after treated with thiostrepton or in combination with docetaxel compared with the single treatment of docetaxel. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Forkhead box transcription factor 1 (FOXM1) has been reported to overexpress and correlate with pathogenesis in a variety of human malignancies. However, little research has been done to investigate its clinical significance in gastric cancer.
We examined the expression of FOXM1 in 103 postoperational gastric cancer tissues and 5 gastric cell lines by immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis respectively. Data on clinic-pathological features and relevant prognostic factors in these patients were then analyzed. Moreover, the association of FOXM1 expression and chemosensitivity to docetaxel in gastric cancer cells was further explored.
Our study demonstrated that the level of FOXM1 expression was significantly higher in gastric cancer than in para-cancer tissues (P < 0.001) and normal gastric cell lines (P = 0.026). No significant association was found between FOXM1 expression and any clinical pathological features (P > 0.1). FOXM1 amplification was identified as an independent prognostic factor in gastric cancer (P = 0.001), and its affection is more significant in patients with tumor size larger than 5 cm (P = 0.004), pT3-4 (P = 0.003) or pIII-IV (P = 0.001). Additionally, shown to mediate docetaxel resistance in gastric cancers by our research, FOXM1 was revealed to alter microtubule dynamics in response to the treatment of docetaxel, and the drug resistance could be reversed with FOXM1 inhibitor thiostrepton treatment.
FOXM1 can be a useful marker for predicting patients' prognosis and monitoring docetaxel response, and might be a new therapeutic target in docetaxel resistant gastric cancer.
Journal of Translational Medicine 09/2013; 11(1):204. DOI:10.1186/1479-5876-11-204 · 3.93 Impact Factor
"A number of studies have demonstrated overexpression of the FoxM1 gene in human cancer cells and tissues, including in ovarian cancer (32,33,37,38), and emerging evidence suggests that the inactivation of FoxM1 may have important implications in cancer therapy. For example, it may be possible to downregulate FoxM1 expression using specific drugs, such as siomycin A, thiostrepton and the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor gefitinib (27,39,40). Wang et al demonstrated that genistein is capable of inhibiting FoxM1 activation in pancreatic cancer cells, leading to cell growth inhibition and the induction of apoptosis (32). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Casticin, a polymethoxyflavone, is reported to have anticancer activities. The aim of the present study was to examine the molecular mechanisms by which casticin induces apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells. The human ovarian cancer cell lines SKOV3 and A2780 were cultured in vitro. Various molecular techniques, including histone/DNA enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), western blot analysis and gene transfection, were used to assess the expression of FOXO3a and forkhead box protein M1 (FoxM1) in casticin-treated ovarian cancer cell lines. Casticin-induced apoptotic cell death was accompanied by the activation of transcription factor FOXO3a, with a concomitant decrease in the expression levels of FoxM1 and its downstream target factors, namely survivin and polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1), and an increase in p27(KIP1). A small inhibitory RNA (siRNA) knockout of FoxM1 potentiated casticin-induced apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells. Silencing FOXO3a expression using siRNA increased FoxM1 expression levels and clearly attenuated the induction of apoptosis by casticin treatment. These results show that casticin-induced apoptosis in ovarian cancer may be caused by the activation of FOXO3a, leading to FoxM1 inhibition.
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