Aberrant activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling is commonly found in colorectal cancers (CRCs) and is the prime event involved in the rapid proliferation of tumor cells in patients with advanced CRC. However, the limited effects of current therapeutics are unsatisfying, which highlights the importance of novel interventions in CRC chemo-treatment. We designed a highly potent small-molecule inhibitor CWP232228, which antagonizes binding of β-catenin to T cell factor in the nucleus. Thus, the present study aimed to explore the possibility of a selective small molecule β-catenin inhibitor, CWP232228, as a potential therapeutic drug in the treatment of CRCs.
We observed that CWP232228 at a concentration of as low as 1.0 μM induced significant cytotoxic effectsand apoptosis in HCT116. Immunoblot analysis showed that CWP232228 treatment increased the release of cytochrome C, which led to the activation of apical (caspase-9) and effector caspases (caspase-7 and -3) resulting in the increased cleavage of PARP.
In addition, we observed that CWP232228 caused cell cycle arrest via attenuating the expressions of cyclin D2, D3, and survivin. Thus, we validated decreased expressions of Wnt/β-catenin targeted cell cycle progression regulators, aurora kinase A, c-Myc, cyclin D1, and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor.
We confirmed that CWP232228 targets β-catenin via decreased promoter activities, nuclear expressions of β-catenin. Lastly, we found CWP232228 also inhibited growth of xenografted colon cancer cells in NOD-scid IL2Rgammanull mice. Collectively, results in the current study showed a possibility for CWP232228 as a potential therapeutic drug in CRCs.
Clinical trial identification
This article is based on research supported by JW pharamaeutical.
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Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.