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Chem Biol. 2004 Nov;11(11):1489-93.

Indoprofen upregulates the survival motor neuron protein through a cyclooxygenase-independent mechanism.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, Fairchild Center, MC 2406, 1212 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027, USA.


Most patients with the pediatric neurodegenerative disease spinal muscular atrophy have a homozygous deletion of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, but retain one or more copies of the closely related SMN2 gene. The SMN2 gene encodes the same protein (SMN) but produces it at a low efficiency compared with the SMN1 gene. We performed a high-throughput screen of approximately 47,000 compounds to identify those that increase production of an SMN2-luciferase reporter protein, but not an SMN1-luciferase reporter protein. Indoprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor, selectively increased SMN2-luciferase reporter protein and endogenous SMN protein and caused a 5-fold increase in the number of nuclear gems in fibroblasts from SMA patients. No other NSAIDs or COX inhibitors tested exhibited this activity.

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