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Prostate. 2012 Nov;72(15):1648-58. doi: 10.1002/pros.22518. Epub 2012 Apr 2.

Small molecule tolfenamic acid inhibits PC-3 cell proliferation and invasion in vitro, and tumor growth in orthotopic mouse model for prostate cancer.

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  • 1Cancer Research Institute, MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando, Orlando, Florida 32827, USA.



Specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors are implicated in critical cellular and molecular processes associated with cancer that impact tumor growth and metastasis. The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, tolfenamic acid (TA) is known to inhibit Sp proteins in some human cancer cells and laboratory animal models. We evaluated the anti-cancer activity of TA using in vitro and in vivo models for prostate cancer.


The anti-proliferative efficacy of TA was evaluated using DU-145, PC-3, and LNCaP cells. PC-3 cells were treated with DMSO or 50 µM TA for 48 hr. Whole cell lysates were evaluated for the expression of Sp1, survivin, c-PARP, Akt/p-Akt, c-Met, cdk4, cdc2, cyclin D3, and E2F1 by Western blot analysis. Cell invasion was assessed by Boyden-chamber assay and flow cytometry analysis was used to study apoptosis and cell cycle distribution. An orthotopic mouse model for prostate cancer with PC-3-Luc cells was used to study the in vivo effect of TA.


TA inhibited the expression of Sp1, c-Met, p-Akt, and survivin; increased c-PARP expression and caspases activity in PC-3 cells. TA caused cell arrest at G(0) /G(1) phase accompanied by a decrease in cdk4, cdc2, cyclin D3, and E2F1 and an increase in critical apoptotic markers. TA augmented annexin-V staining, caspase activity, and c-PARP expression indicating the activation of apoptotic pathways. TA also decreased PC-3 cell invasion. TA significantly decreased the tumor weight and volume which was associated with low expression of Sp1 and survivin in tumor sections.


TA targets critical pathways associated with tumorigenesis and invasion. These pre-clinical data strongly demonstrated the anti-cancer activity of TA in prostate cancer.

Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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