Tumour biology : the journal of the International Society for Oncodevelopmental Biology and Medicine

RPF151, a novel capsaicin-like analogue: in vitro studies and in vivo preclinical antitumor evaluation in a breast cancer model.

PMID 25894379


Capsaicin, the primary pungent component of the chili pepper, has antitumor activity. Herein, we describe the activity of RPF151, an alkyl sulfonamide analogue of capsaicin, against MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. RPF151 was synthetized, and molecular modeling was used to compare capsaicin and RPF151. Cytotoxicity of RPF151 on MDA-MB-231 was also evaluated by the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Cell cycle analysis, by flow cytometry, and Western blot analysis of cycle-related proteins were used to evaluate the antiproliferative mechanisms. Apoptosis was evaluated by phosphatidyl-serine externalization, cleavage of Ac-YVAD-AMC, and Bcl-2 expression. The production of reactive oxygen species was evaluated by flow cytometry. RPF151 in vivo antitumor effects were investigated in murine MDA-MB-231 model. This study shows that RPF151 downregulated p21 and cyclins A, D1, and D3, leading to S-phase arrest and apoptosis. Although RPF151 has induced the activation of TRPV-1 and TRAIL-R1/DR4 and TRAIL-2/DR5 on the surface of MDA-MB-231 cells, its in vivo antitumor activity was TRPV-1-independent, thus suggesting that RPF151 should not have the same pungency-based limitation of capsaicin. In silico analysis corroborated the biological findings, showing that RPF151 has physicochemical improvements over capsaicin. Overall, the activity of RPF151 against MDA-MB-231 and its lower pungency suggest that it may have a relevant role in cancer therapy.