[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A high-throughput screening assay for modulators of Trp53/NF1 mutant astrocytoma cell growth was adapted for use with natural product extracts and applied to a novel collection of prefractionated/partially purified extracts. Screening 68 427 samples identified active fractions from 95 unique extracts, including the terrestrial plant Millettia ichthyotona. Only three of these extracts showed activity in the crude extract form, thus demonstrating the utility of a partial purification approach for natural product screening. The NF1 screening assay was used to guide purification of active compounds from the M. ichthyotona extract, which yielded the two rotenones deguelin (1) and dehydrodeguelin (2). The deguelins have been reported to affect growth of a number of cancer cell lines. They potently inhibited growth of only one of a panel of NF1/Trp53 mutant murine astrocytoma cell lines, possibly related to epigenetic factors, but had no effect on the growth of normal astrocytes. These results suggest the potential utility of deguelins as tools for further investigating NF1 astrocytoma cell growth. These bioprobes were identified only as a result of screening partially purified natural product extracts.
Journal of Natural Products 10/2015; DOI:10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b00753 · 3.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low oxygen environments are a hallmark of solid tumors, and transcription of many hypoxia-responsive genes needed for survival under these conditions is regulated by the transcription factor HIF-1 (hypoxia-inducible factor 1). Activation of HIF-1 requires binding of its α-subunit (HIF-1α) to the transcriptional coactivator protein p300. Inhibition of the p300/HIF-1α interaction can suppress HIF-1 activity. A screen for inhibitors of the protein binding domains of p300 (CH1) and HIF-1α (C-TAD) identified an extract of the marine ascidian Eudistoma sp. as active. Novel heterocyclic alkaloids eudistidines A (1) and B (2) were isolated from the extract, and their structures assigned by spectroscopic analyses. They contain an unprecedented tetracyclic core composed of two pyrimidine rings fused with an imidazole ring. Eudistidine A (1) was synthesized in a concise four-step sequence featuring a condensation/cyclization reaction cascade between 4-(2-aminophenyl)pyrimidin-2-amine (3) and 4-methoxy-phenylglyoxal (4), while eudistidine B (2) was synthesized in a similar fashion with glyoxylic acid (5) in place of 4. Naturally occurring eudistidine A (1) effectively inhibited CH1/C-TAD binding with an IC50 of 75 μM, and synthetic 1 had similar activity. The eudistidine A (1) scaffold, which can be synthesized in a concise, scalable manner, may provide potential therapeutic lead compounds or molecular probes to study p300/HIF-1α interactions and the role these proteins play in tumor response to low oxygen conditions. The unique structural scaffolds and functional group arrays often found in natural products make these secondary metabolites a rich source of new compounds that can disrupt critical protein-protein binding events.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 04/2015; 137(16). DOI:10.1021/jacs.5b02156 · 12.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Withanolide E, a steroidal lactone from Physalis peruviana, was found to be highly active for sensitizing renal carcinoma cells and a number of other human cancer cells to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-mediated apoptosis. Withanolide E, the most potent and least toxic of five TRAIL-sensitizing withanolides identified, enhanced death receptor-mediated apoptotic signaling by a rapid decline in the levels of cFLIP proteins. Other mechanisms by which TRAIL sensitizers have been reported to work: generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), changes in pro-and antiapoptotic protein expression, death receptor upregulation, activation of intrinsic (mitochondrial) apoptotic pathways, ER stress, and proteasomal inhibition proved to be irrelevant to withanolide E activity. Loss of cFLIP proteins was not due to changes in expression, but rather destabilization and/or aggregation, suggesting impairment of chaperone proteins leading to degradation. Indeed, withanolide E treatment altered the stability of a number of HSP90 client proteins, but with greater apparent specificity than the well-known HSP90 inhibitor geldanamycin. As cFLIP has been reported to be an HSP90 client, this provides a potentially novel mechanism for sensitizing cells to TRAIL. Sensitization of human renal carcinoma cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis by withanolide E and its lack of toxicity were confirmed in animal studies. Owing to its novel activity, withanolide E is a promising reagent for the analysis of mechanisms of TRAIL resistance, for understanding HSP90 function, and for further therapeutic development. In marked contrast to bortezomib, among the best currently available TRAIL sensitizers, withanolide E's more specific mechanism of action suggests minimal toxic side effects.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bioinformatic analysis of data from the NCI-60 cell cytotoxicity screen revealed a subset of extracts that showed selective cytotoxic activity toward human colon carcinoma cell lines. Bioassay-guided fractionation of a colon cancer selective extract from a Philippines collection of the marine sponge Corticium niger provided two new steroidal alkaloids, plakinamines N (1) and O (2), along with two known compounds of the plakinamine class (3, 4). The structures of these compounds were elucidated by interpretation of combined MS and NMR spectroscopic data. Plakinamines N (1), O (2), and J (4) were tested for antiproliferative activity in the NCI-60 screen, and they showed enhanced inhibitory effects against all of the colon cell lines with mean GI50 values of 11.5, 2.4, and 1.4 μM, respectively.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A cell-based high-throughput screen that assessed the cellular stability of a tumor suppressor protein PDCD4 (Programmed cell death 4) was used to identify a new guanidine-containing marine alkaloid mirabilin K (3), as well as the known compounds mirabilin G (1) and netamine M (2). The structures of these tricyclic guanidine alkaloids were established from extensive spectroscopic analyses. Compounds 1 and 2 inhibited cellular degradation of PDCD4 with EC50 values of 1.8 μg/mL and 2.8 μg/mL, respectively. Mirabilin G (1) and netamine M (2) are the first marine natural products reported to stabilize PDCD4 under tumor promoting conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deregulation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-70kDa ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 (p70(S6K)) pathway is commonly observed in many tumors. This pathway controls proliferation, survival, and translation, and its overactivation is associated with poor prognosis for tumor-associated survival. Current efforts focus on the development of novel inhibitors of this pathway. In a cell-based high-throughput screening assay of 15 272 pure natural compounds, we identified pomiferin triacetate as a potent stabilizer of the tumor suppressor programmed cell death 4 (Pdcd4). Mechanistically, pomiferin triacetate appeared as a general inhibitor of the PI3K-Akt-mTOR-p70(S6K) cascade. Interference with this pathway occurred downstream of Akt but upstream of p70(S6K). Specifically, mTOR kinase emerged as the molecular target of pomiferin triacetate, with similar activities against mTOR complexes 1 and 2. In an in vitro mTOR kinase assay pomiferin triacetate dose-dependently inhibited mTOR with an IC50 of 6.2 μM. Molecular docking studies supported the interaction of the inhibitor with the catalytic site of mTOR. Importantly, pomiferin triacetate appeared to be highly selective for mTOR compared to a panel of 17 lipid and 50 protein kinases tested. As a consequence of the mTOR inhibition, pomiferin triacetate efficiently attenuated translation. In summary, pomiferin triacetate emerged as a novel and highly specific mTOR inhibitor with strong translation inhibitory effects. Thus, it might be an interesting lead structure for the development of mTOR- and translation-targeted anti-tumor therapies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) based bioassay-guided phytochemical investigation on Simarouba berteroana led to the isolation of one new canthin-6-one-9-methoxy-5-O-β-d-glucopyranoside (1), seven known canthine alkaloids (2–8), two known quassinoids (9–10) and a known neo-lignan (11). The structures of all compounds were established by HRMS, 1D- and 2D NMR analysis and comparison with previously reported data. Most of the compounds inhibited the proliferation of an Nf1- and p53-deficient mouse glioma cell line at non-cytotoxic concentrations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Covering: up to 2013Application of high throughput screening technologies to natural product samples demands alterations in assay design as well as sample preparation in order to yield meaningful hit structures at the end of the campaign.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cancer stem cell marker, EpCAM, is an important indicator of Wnt/β-catenin signaling activation and a functional component of hepatocellular tumor-initiating cells. A high-throughput screening assay was developed to identify inhibitors of EpCAM-dependent growth of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. EpCAM(+) and EpCAM(-) HCC cell lines were assessed for differential sensitivity to a Wnt/β-catenin pathway inhibitor. Libraries comprising 22 668 pure compounds and 107 741 crude or partially purified natural product extracts were tested, and 12 pure compounds and 67 natural product extracts were identified for further study. Three active compounds and the positive control were further characterized in terms of effects on EpCAM expression. Treatment of EpCAM(+) Hep3B cells resulted in loss of EpCAM expression as assessed by flow cytometry. This reduction was incomplete (most cells continued to express EpCAM), but resulted in generation of cell populations expressing lower levels of EpCAM. Sublethal concentrations (~IC50 ) reduced median EpCAM expression to 28% of control after 1 day and 19% of control after 2 days. Reduction in EpCAM expression preceded growth inhibition suggesting that a threshold of EpCAM expression may be required for growth of EpCAM-dependent cells. The identification of compounds with a variety of possible molecular targets suggests a likelihood of multiple mechanisms for modulation of EpCAM-dependent cell growth.
Chemical Biology & Drug Design 08/2013; 82(2):131-9. DOI:10.1111/cbdd.12146 · 2.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Loss of the tumor suppressor Pdcd4 was reported for various tumor entities and proposed as a prognostic marker in tumorigenesis. We previously characterized decreased Pdcd4 protein stability in response to mitogenic stimuli, which resulted from p70(S6K1)-dependent protein phosphorylation, β-TrCP1-mediated ubiquitination, and proteasomal destruction. Following high-throughput screening of natural product extract libraries using a luciferase-based reporter assay to monitor phosphorylation-dependent proteasomal degradation of the tumor suppressor Pdcd4, we succeeded in showing that a crude extract from Eriophyllum lanatum stabilized Pdcd4 from TPA-induced degradation. Erioflorin was identified as the active component and inhibited not only degradation of the Pdcd4-luciferase-based reporter but also of endogenous Pdcd4 at low micromolar concentrations. Mechanistically, erioflorin interfered with the interaction between the E3-ubiquitin ligase β-TrCP1 and Pdcd4 in cell culture and in in vitro binding assays, consequently decreasing ubiquitination and degradation of Pdcd4. Interestingly, while erioflorin stabilized additional β-TrCP-targets (such as IκBα and β-catenin), it did not prevent the degradation of targets of other E3-ubiquitin ligases such as p21 (a Skp2-target) and HIF-1α (a pVHL-target), implying selectivity for β-TrCP. Moreover, erioflorin inhibited the tumor-associated activity of known Pdcd4- and IκBα-regulated αtranscription factors, that is, AP-1 and NF-κB, altered cell cycle progression and suppressed proliferation of various cancer cell lines. Our studies succeeded in identifying erioflorin as a novel Pdcd4 stabilizer that inhibits the interaction of Pdcd4 with the E3-ubiquitin ligase β-TrCP1. Inhibition of E3-ligase/target-protein interactions may offer the possibility to target degradation of specific proteins only as compared to general proteasome inhibition.
PLoS ONE 10/2012; 7(10):e46567. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0046567 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two new sesterterpenoids named flabelliferins A (1) and B (2) were isolated from the lipophilic extract of the sponge Cateriospongia flabellifera, collected in the South Pacific near Vanuatu. The structure and absolute configuration of these two compounds were assigned by a combination of one- and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy and by Mosher's ester analysis. Flabelliferin A (1) has a rare 25-homocheilanthane carbon skeleton, while flabelliferin B (2) is a 24-nor-25-homoscalarane sesterterpenoid.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Barleria alluaudii and Diospyros maritima were both investigated as part of an ongoing search for synergistic TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-α-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) sensitizers. As a result of this study, two naphthoquinone epoxides, 2,3-epoxy-2,3-dihydrolapachol (1) and 2,3-epoxy-2,3-dihydro-8-hydroxylapachol (2), both not previously isolated from natural sources, and the known 2-methylanthraquinone (3) were identified from B. alluaudii. Time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) calculations of electronic circular dichroism (ECD) spectra were utilized to establish the absolute configuration of 1 and 2. Additionally, five known naphthoquinone derivatives, maritinone (4), elliptinone (5), plumbagin (6), (+)-cis-isoshinanolone (7), and ethylidene-6,6'-biplumbagin (8), were isolated from D. maritima. Compounds 1, 2, and 4-6 showed varying levels of synergy with TRAIL. Maritinone (4) and elliptinone (5) showed the highest synergistic effect, with more than a 3-fold increase in activity observed with TRAIL than with compound alone.