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Cancer Cell. 2006 Feb;9(2):133-46.

Using small molecules to overcome drug resistance induced by a viral oncogene.

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


We used small molecule screening to discover compounds and mechanisms for overcoming E6 oncogene-mediated drug resistance. Using high-throughput screening in isogenic cell lines, we identified compounds that potentiate doxorubicin's lethality in E6-expressing colon cancer cells. Such compounds included quaternary ammonium salts, protein synthesis inhibitors, 11-deoxyprostaglandins, and two additional classes of compounds-analogs of 1,3-bis(4-morpholinylmethyl)-2-imidazolidinethione (a thiourea) and acylated secondary amines that we named indoxins. Indoxins upregulated topoisomerase IIalpha, the target of doxorubicin, thereby increasing doxorubicin lethality. We developed a photolabeling strategy to identify targets of indoxin and discovered a nuclear actin-related protein complex as a candidate indoxin target.

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