Cancer letters

Myeloid cell leukemia-1 is a key molecular target for mithramycin A-induced apoptosis in androgen-independent prostate cancer cells and a tumor xenograft animal model.

PMID 23000424


Mithramycin A (Mith) is a natural polyketide that has been used in multiple areas of research including apoptosis of various cancer cells. Here, we examined the critical role of Mith in apoptosis and its molecular mechanism in DU145 and PC3 prostate cancer cells and tumor xenografts. Mith decreased cell growth and induced apoptosis in DU145 and PC-3 cells. Myeloid cell leukemia-1 (Mcl-1) was over-expressed in both cell lines compared to RWPE1 cells. Mith inhibited Mcl-1 protein expression in both cells, but only altered Mcl-1 mRNA levels in PC-3 cells. We also found that Mith reduced Mcl-1 protein levels through both proteasome-dependent protein degradation and the inhibition of protein synthesis in DU145 cells. Studies using siRNA confirmed that the knockdown of Mcl-1 induced apoptosis. Mith significantly suppressed TPA-induced neoplastic cell transformation through the down-regulation of the Mcl-1 protein in JB6 cells, and suppressed the transforming activity of both cell types. Mith also inhibited tumor growth and Mcl-1 levels, in addition to inducing apoptosis, in athymic nude mice bearing DU145 cell xenografts without affecting five normal organs. Therefore, Mith inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis by suppressing Mcl-1 in both prostate cancer cells and xenograft tumors, and thus is a potent anticancer drug candidate for prostate cancer.

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Mithramycin A from Streptomyces plicatus, ≥90% (HPLC)