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PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e45845. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0045845. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

Compound C prevents the unfolded protein response during glucose deprivation through a mechanism independent of AMPK and BMP signaling.

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  • 1Cancer Chemotherapy Center, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

Inhibiting the unfolded protein response (UPR) can be a therapeutic approach, especially for targeting the tumor microenvironment. Here, we show that compound C (also known as dorsomorphin), a small-molecule inhibitor of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling, inhibit the UPR-induced transcription program depending on the glucose deprivation conditions. We found that compound C prevented UPR marker glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) accumulation and exerted enhanced cytotoxicity during glucose deprivation. Gene expression profiling, together with biochemical analysis, revealed that compound C had a unique mode of action to suppress the transcriptional activation of UPR-targeted genes, as compared with the classic UPR inhibitors versipelostatin and biguanides. Surprisingly, the UPR-inhibiting activity of compound C was not associated with either AMPK or BMP signaling inhibition. We further found that combination treatments of compound C and the classic UPR inhibitors resulted in synergistic cell death with UPR suppression during glucose deprivation. Our findings demonstrate that compound C could be a unique tool for developing a UPR-targeted antitumor therapy.

PMID:
23029271
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3454318
Free PMC Article
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