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Cancer Sci. 2011 Oct;102(10):1889-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2011.02014.x. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

EW-7203, a novel small molecule inhibitor of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) type I receptor/activin receptor-like kinase-5, blocks TGF-β1-mediated epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in mammary epithelial cells.

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  • 1College of Pharmacy, Ewha Womans University, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea.


Recently, small molecule inhibitors of transforming growth factorβ (TGF-β) type I receptor kinase ⁄ activin receptor-like kinase-5 (ALK5) have been developed to target TGF-β signalling as a therapeutic strategy for combating cancer. In the present study, the authors examined a novel small molecule inhibitor of ALK5, 3-((5- ([1,2,4]triazolo[1,5-a]pyridin-6-yl)-4-(6-methylpyridin-2-yl)thiazol-2-ylamino)methyl)benzonitrile (EW-7203) in breast cancer cells to determine if it has potential for cancer treatment. The inhibitory effects of EW-7203 on TGF-β-induced Smad signalling and epithelial- to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) were investigated in mammary epithelial cells using luciferase reporter assays, immunoblotting, confocal microscopy and wound healing assays. In addition, the suppressive effects of EW-7203 on mammary cancer metastasis to the lung were examined using a Balb ⁄ c xenograft model system. The novel ALK5 inhibitor, EW-7203, inhibited the TGF-β1-stimulated transcriptional activation of p3TP-Lux and pCA-GA₁₂- Luc. In addition, EW-7203 decreased phosphorylated Smad2 levels and the nuclear translocation of Smad2 was increased by TGF-β1. In addition, EW-7203 inhibited TGF-β1-induced EMT and wound healing of NMuMG cells. Furthermore, in xenografted Balb ⁄ c mice, EW-7203 inhibited metastasis to the lung from breast tumors. The novel ALK5 inhibitor, EW-7203, efficiently inhibited TGF-β1-induced Smad signalling, EMT and breast tumor metastasis to the lung in vivo, demonstrating that EW-7203 has therapeutic potential for breast cancer metastasis to the lung.

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