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Toxicol Lett. 2010 Feb 15;192(3):271-7. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2009.11.001. Epub 2009 Nov 11.

Chemopreventive actions by enterolactone and 13 VIOXX-related lactone derivatives in H295R human adrenocortical carcinoma cells.

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Endocrine Toxicology, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Cytochrome P450c17 (CYP17) has been linked to various hormone-related diseases, including breast cancer, thus being a potential target for cancer chemoprevention. We studied the naturally occurring phytochemical enterolactone (ENL) and 13 VIOXX-related lactone derivatives (CRI-1 to CRI-13) for their effects on CYP17 activity and expression and on cell cycle status in the human H295R adrenocorticocarcinoma cell line. Of the tested compounds, only CRI-3, -7, -10 and -12 showed to be inhibitors of CYP17 activity in H295R cells. This inhibition was not due to decreased mRNA expression, but was apparently caused by post-translational modification of the CYP17 enzyme. The MAPK kinase (MEK) inhibitor PD98059 induced CYP17 activity by 24%, while co-incubation of the CRI-s with PD98059, reduced CYP17 activity even further than the reduction caused by the CRI-s alone. In addition, CRI-3, -7, -10 and -12 arrested the cell cycle in the G(2)/M phase. The structure-activity similarities of the CRI-s with known micro-tubule binding agents strongly suggest that cell cycle arrest is a result of interaction with tubulin. We conclude that the proposed cancer chemopreventive actions of ENL are not mediated through interaction with CYP17 or cell cycle status. Of the VIOXX-related lactone derivatives, CRI-7 could prove useful in the prevention of hormone-dependent cancers, such as breast cancer, since in vitro it shows low cytotoxicity, it is a potent inhibitor of CYP17 activity and strong inducer of cell cycle arrest.

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