CXL146, a Novel 4H-Chromene Derivative, Targets GRP78 to Selectively Eliminate Multidrug-Resistant Cancer Cells

Bian, Tengfei and Tagmount, Abderrahmane and Sobh, Amin and Vulpe, Christopher and Kavitha, C. V. and Xing, Chengguo (2020) CXL146, a Novel 4H-Chromene Derivative, Targets GRP78 to Selectively Eliminate Multidrug-Resistant Cancer Cells. Molecular Pharmacology, 97 (6). pp. 402-408. ISSN 1521-0111

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The 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78), an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone, is a master regulator of the ER stress. A number of studies revealed that high levels of GRP78 protein in cancer cells confer multidrug resistance (MDR) to therapeutic treatment. Therefore, drug candidate that reduces GRP78 may represent a novel approach to eliminate MDR cancer cells. Our earlier studies showed that a set of 4H-chromene derivatives induced selective cytotoxicity in MDR cancer cells. In the present study, we elucidated its selective mechanism in four MDR cancer cell lines with one lead candidate (CXL146). Cytotoxicity results confirmed the selective cytotoxicity of CXL146 toward the MDR cancer cell lines. We noted significant overexpression of GRP78 in all four MDR cell lines compared with the parental cell lines. Unexpectedly, CXL146 treatment rapidly and dose-dependently reduced GRP78 protein in MDR cancer cell lines. Using human leukemia (HL) 60/mitoxantrone (MX) 2 cell line as the model, we demonstrated that CXL146 treatment activated the unfolded protein response (UPR); as evidenced by the activation of inositol-requiring enzyme 1 alpha, protein kinase R-like ER kinase, and activating transcription factor 6. CXL146-induced UPR activation led to a series of downstream events, including extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase activation, which contributed to CXL146-induced apoptosis. Targeted reduction in GRP78 resulted in reduced sensitivity of HL60/MX2 toward CXL146. Long-term sublethal CXL146 exposure also led to reduction in GRP78 in HL60/MX2. These data collectively support GRP78 as the target of CXL146 in MDR treatment. Interestingly, HL60/MX2 upon long-term sublethal CXL146 exposure regained sensitivity to mitoxantrone treatment. Therefore, further exploration of CXL146 as a novel therapy in treating MDR cancer cells is warranted. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Multidrug resistance is one major challenge to cancer treatment. This study provides evidence that cancer cells overexpress 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78) as a mechanism to acquire resistance to standard cancer therapies. A chromenebased small molecule, CXL146, selectively eliminates cancer cells with GRP78 overexpression via activating unfolded protein response-mediated apoptosis. Further characterization indicates that CXL146 and standard therapies complementarily target different populations of cancer cells, supporting the potential of CXL146 to overcome multidrug resistance in cancer treatment.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C Chemical Science > Chemistry
Divisions: PG Centre Mandya > Chemistry
Depositing User: Mr Umendra uom
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2021 05:51
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2022 06:03

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