Targeting PELP1 oncogenic signaling in TNBC with the small molecule inhibitor SMIP34

Kristin A. Altwegg, Uday P. Pratap, Zexuan Liu, Junhao Liu, John R. Sanchez, Xue Yang, Behnam Ebrahimi, Durga Meenakshi Panneerdoss, Xiaonan Li, Gangadhara R. Sareddy, Suryavathi Viswanadhapalli, Manjeet K. Rao, Ratna K. Vadlamudi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive subtype of breast cancer. Oncogenic PELP1 is frequently overexpressed in TNBC, and it has been demonstrated that PELP1 signaling is essential for TNBC progression. The therapeutic utility of targeting PELP1 in TNBC, however, remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the effectiveness of SMIP34, a recently developed PELP1 inhibitor for the treatment of TNBC. Methods: To ascertain the impact of SMIP34 treatment, we used seven different TNBC models for testing cell viability, colony formation, invasion, apoptosis, and cell cycle analysis. Western blotting and RT-qPCR were used to determine the mechanistic insights of SMIP34 action. Using xenograft and PDX tumors, the ability of SMIP34 in suppressing proliferation was examined both ex vivo and in vivo. Results: TNBC cells’ viability, colony formation, and invasiveness were all decreased by SMIP34 in in vitro cell-based assays, while apoptosis was increased. SMIP34 treatment promoted the degradation of PELP1 through the proteasome pathway. RT-qPCR analyses confirmed that SMIP34 treatment downregulated PELP1 target genes. Further, SMIP34 treatment substantially downregulated PELP1 mediated extranuclear signaling including ERK, mTOR, S6 and 4EBP1. Mechanistic studies confirmed downregulation of PELP1 mediated ribosomal biogenesis functions including downregulation of cMyc and Rix complex proteins LAS1L, TEX-10, and SENP3. The proliferation of TNBC tumor tissues was decreased in explant experiments by SMIP34. Additionally, SMIP34 treatment markedly decreased tumor progression in both TNBC xenograft and PDX models. Conclusions: Together, these findings from in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo models show that SMIP34 may be a useful therapeutic agent for inhibiting PELP1 signaling in TNBC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-162
Number of pages12
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • PELP1
  • Ribosome
  • Rix complex
  • SMIP34
  • TNBC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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