Maximiscin Induces DNA Damage, Activates DNA Damage Response Pathways, and Has Selective Cytotoxic Activity against a Subtype of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Andrew J. Robles, Lin Du, Robert H. Cichewicz, Susan L. Mooberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Triple-negative breast cancers are highly aggressive, and patients with these types of tumors have poor long-term survival. These breast cancers do not express estrogen or progesterone receptors and do not have gene amplification of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2; therefore, they do not respond to available targeted therapies. The lack of targeted therapies for triple-negative breast cancers stems from their heterogeneous nature and lack of a clear definition of driver defects. Studies have recently identified triple-negative breast cancer molecular subtypes based on gene expression profiling and representative cell lines, allowing for the identification of subtype-specific drug leads and molecular targets. We previously reported the identification of a new fungal metabolite named maximiscin (1) identified through a crowdsourcing program. New results show that 1 has selective cytotoxic efficacy against basal-like 1 MDA-MB-468 cells compared to cell lines modeling other triple-negative breast cancer molecular subtypes. This compound also exhibited antitumor efficacy in a xenograft mouse model. The mechanisms of action of 1 in MDA-MB-468 cells were investigated to identify potential molecular targets and affected pathways. Compound 1 caused accumulation of cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle, suggesting induction of DNA damage. Indeed, treatment with 1 caused DNA double-strand breaks with concomitant activation of the DNA damage response pathways, indicated by phosphorylation of p53, Chk1, and Chk2. Collectively, these results suggest basal-like triple-negative breast cancer may be inherently sensitive to DNA-damaging agents relative to other triple-negative breast cancer subtypes. These results also demonstrate the potential of our citizen crowdsourcing program to identify new lead molecules for treating the subtypes of triple-negative breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1822-1827
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Natural Products
Volume79
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 22 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Organic Chemistry

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