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      Quinoline-based clioquinol and nitroxoline exhibit anticancer activity inducing FoxM1 inhibition in cholangiocarcinoma cells

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          Fork head box M1 (FoxM1) is an oncogenic transcription factor frequently elevated in numerous cancers, including cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). A growing body of evidence documents its diverse functions contributing to tumorigenesis and cancer progression. As such, discovery of agents that can target FoxM1 would be valuable for the treatment of CCA. The quinoline-based compounds, namely clioquinol (CQ) and nitroxoline (NQ), represent a new class of anticancer drug. However, their efficacy and underlying mechanisms have not been elucidated in CCA. In this study, anticancer activities and inhibitory effects of CQ and NQ on FoxM1 signaling were explored using CCA cells.


          The effects of CQ and NQ on cell viability and proliferation were evaluated using the colorimetric 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium (MTS assay). Colony formation and cell migration affected by CQ and NQ were investigated using a clonogenic and a wound healing assay, respectively. To demonstrate the agents’ effects on FoxM1 signaling, expression levels of the target genes were quantitatively determined using real-time polymerase chain reaction.


          CQ and NQ significantly inhibited cell survival of HuCCT1 and Huh28 in a dose- and a time-dependent fashion. Further investigations using the rapidly proliferating HuCCT1 cells revealed significant suppression of cell proliferation and colony formation induced by low doses of the compounds. Treatment of CQ and NQ repressed expression of cyclin D1 but enhanced expression of p21. Most importantly, upon CQ and NQ treatment, expression of oncogenic FoxM1 was markedly decreased concomitant with downregulation of various FoxM1’s downstream targets including cdc25b, CENP-B, and survivin. In addition, the compounds distinctly impaired HuCCT1 migration as well as inhibited expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9.


          Collectively, this study reports for the first time the anticancer effects of CQ and NQ against CCA cells, and highlights new insights into the mechanism of actions of the quinoline-based compounds to disrupt FoxM1 signaling.

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          Most cited references 42

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          A matrix metalloproteinase expressed on the surface of invasive tumour cells.

          Gelatinase A (type-IV collagenase; M(r) 72,000) is produced by tumour stroma cells and is believed to be crucial for their invasion and metastasis, acting by degrading extracellular matrix macro-molecules such as type IV collagen. An inactive precursor of gelatinase A (pro-gelatinase A) is secreted and activated in invasive tumour tissue as a result of proteolysis which is mediated by a fraction of tumour cell membrane that is sensitive to metalloproteinase inhibitors. Here we report the cloning of the complementary DNA encoding a new matrix metalloproteinase with a potential transmembrane domain. Expression of the gene product on the cell surface induces specific activation of pro-gelatinase A in vitro and enhances cellular invasion of the reconstituted basement membrane. Tumour cells of invasive lung carcinomas, which contain activated forms of gelatinase A, were found to express the transcript and the gene product. The new metalloproteinase may thus trigger invasion by tumour cells by activating pro-gelatinase A on the tumour cell surface.
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            FoxM1 is required for execution of the mitotic programme and chromosome stability.

            Transcriptional induction of cell-cycle regulatory proteins ensures proper timing of subsequent cell-cycle events. Here we show that the Forkhead transcription factor FoxM1 regulates expression of many G2-specific genes and is essential for chromosome stability. Loss of FoxM1 leads to pleiotropic cell-cycle defects, including a delay in G2, chromosome mis-segregation and frequent failure of cytokinesis. We show that transcriptional activation of cyclin B by FoxM1 is essential for timely mitotic entry, whereas CENP-F, another direct target of FoxM1 identified here, is essential for precise functioning of the mitotic spindle checkpoint. Thus, our data uncover a transcriptional cluster regulated by FoxM1 that is essential for proper mitotic progression.
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              Forkhead box M1 regulates the transcriptional network of genes essential for mitotic progression and genes encoding the SCF (Skp2-Cks1) ubiquitin ligase.

              The Forkhead box m1 (Foxm1) gene is critical for G(1)/S transition and essential for mitotic progression. However, the transcriptional mechanisms downstream of FoxM1 that control these cell cycle events remain to be determined. Here, we show that both early-passage Foxm1(-)(/)(-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and human osteosarcoma U2OS cells depleted of FoxM1 protein by small interfering RNA fail to grow in culture due to a mitotic block and accumulate nuclear levels of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CDKI) proteins p21(Cip1) and p27(Kip1). Using quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation and expression assays, we show that FoxM1 is essential for transcription of the mitotic regulatory genes Cdc25B, Aurora B kinase, survivin, centromere protein A (CENPA), and CENPB. We also identify the mechanism by which FoxM1 deficiency causes elevated nuclear levels of the CDKI proteins p21(Cip1) and p27(Kip1). We provide evidence that FoxM1 is essential for transcription of Skp2 and Cks1, which are specificity subunits of the Skp1-Cullin 1-F-box (SCF) ubiquitin ligase complex that targets these CDKI proteins for degradation during the G(1)/S transition. Moreover, early-passage Foxm1(-)(/)(-) MEFs display premature senescence as evidenced by high expression of the senescence-associated beta-galactosidase, p19(ARF), and p16(INK4A) proteins. Taken together, these results demonstrate that FoxM1 regulates transcription of cell cycle genes critical for progression into S-phase and mitosis.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                08 April 2015
                : 9
                : 2033-2047
                [1 ]Center for Research and Innovation, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
                [2 ]Department of Clinical Microbiology and Applied Technology, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
                [3 ]Center of Data Mining and Biomedical Informatics, Faculty of Medical Technology, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Virapong Prachayasittikul, Department of Clinical Microbiology and Applied Technology, Faculty of Medical Technology, Mahidol University, 2 Prannok Road, Bangkok-Noi, Bangkok 10700, Thailand, Tel +66 2 441 4376, Fax +66 2 441 4380, Email virapong.pra@ 123456mahidol.ac.th ; drvirapong@ 123456gmail.com
                © 2015 Chan-on et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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