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Publications

Small Molecule Inhibitors of ERCC1-XPF Protein-Protein Interaction Synergize Alkylating Agents in Cancer Cells

By:
Contributors: Jack Tuszynski Research Group
Mol Pharmacol. 2013 Jul;84(1):12-24. doi: 10.1124/mol.112.082347. Epub 2013 Apr 11.

Abstract

The benefit of cancer chemotherapy based on alkylating agents is limited because of the action of DNA repair enzymes, which mitigate the damage induced by these agents. The interaction between the proteins ERCC1 and XPF involves two major components of the nucleotide excision repair pathway. Here, novel inhibitors of this interaction were identified by virtual screening based on available structures with use of the National Cancer Institute diversity set and a panel of DrugBank small molecules. Subsequently, experimental validation of the in silico screening was undertaken. Top hits were evaluated on A549 and HCT116 cancer cells. In particular, the compound labeled NSC 130813 [4-[(6-chloro-2-methoxy-9-acridinyl)amino]-2-[(4-methyl-1-piperazinyl)methyl]] was shown to act synergistically with cisplatin and mitomycin C; to increase UVC-mediated cytotoxicity; to modify DNA repair as indicated by the staining of phosphorylated H2AX; and to disrupt interaction between ERCC1 and XPF in cells. In addition, using the Biacore technique, we showed that this compound interacts with the domain of XPF responsible for interaction with ERCC1. This study shows that small molecules targeting the protein-protein interaction of ERCC1 and XPF can be developed to enhance the effects of alkylating agents on cancer cells.

 

PubMed

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Dr. Nawaid Usmani and team receive funding for their PRIME study!

The PRIME Study – Prevention and Intervention for MEtabolic syndrome:

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), and newer manipulations of androgen receptor signaling have improved outcomes for advanced prostate cancer (PCa) patients.  The toxicities of ADT are many, including an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome (MS; defined as at least 3 of: hyperglycemia; abdominal obesity; hypertriglyceridemia; reduced HDL cholesterol; and/or hypertension). MS is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease mortality, stroke mortality, and all-cause mortality.  The prevalence of MS in men receiving ADT is at least 50% and contributes to decreased quality of life and increased non-cancer-related mortality.  Metformin holds promise as a countermeasure to MS development, and also has been shown to suppress PCa growth in pre-clinical models.

We hypothesize that the addition of metformin to ADT will reduce the rates of MS in men with advanced PCa, diminishing important toxicities of a therapy universally used in advanced disease.

We propose a double-blind, randomized phase III study of metformin or placebo in men with PCa starting intermittent ADT. The primary endpoint is the difference in MS rates at 1 year.  Other aims include evaluation of the influence of metformin on: individual MS components at additional time points; mean serum insulin levels and measures of insulin resistance; weight and quality of life.

A finding that metformin reduces MS incidence and/or has other benefits would change practice, as it would provide a practical and inexpensive strategy to reduce toxicity of an intervention employed in most men with advanced PCa.

- Catalina Vasquez