Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2013 Mar 29;288(13):8826-37. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.429316. Epub 2013 Feb 4.

Selective induction of tumor cell apoptosis by a novel P450-mediated reactive oxygen species (ROS) inducer methyl 3-(4-nitrophenyl) propiolate.

Author information

  • 1Departments of Pharmacology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 555 Zhchongzhi Road, Shanghai, China 201203.


Induction of tumor cell apoptosis has been recognized as a valid anticancer strategy. However, therapeutic selectivity between tumor and normal cells has always been a challenge. Here, we report a novel anti-cancer compound methyl 3-(4-nitrophenyl) propiolate (NPP) preferentially induces apoptosis in tumor cells through P450-catalyzed reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. A compound sensitivity study on multiple cell lines shows that tumor cells with high basal ROS levels, low antioxidant capacities, and p53 mutations are especially sensitive to NPP. Knockdown of p53 sensitized non-transformed cells to NPP-induced cell death. Additionally, by comparing NPP with other ROS inducers, we show that the susceptibility of tumor cells to the ROS-induced cell death is influenced by the mode, amount, duration, and perhaps location of ROS production. Our studies not only discovered a unique anticancer drug candidate but also shed new light on the understanding of ROS generation and function and the potential application of a ROS-promoting strategy in cancer treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk