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Mol Cancer Ther. 2011 Sep;10(9):1698-708. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-11-0107. Epub 2011 Jun 23.

Impact of APE1/Ref-1 redox inhibition on pancreatic tumor growth.

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Department of Pediatrics, Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, Indiana University of School of Medicine, 980 W. Walnut, R3-548, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.


Pancreatic cancer is especially a deadly form of cancer with a survival rate less than 2%. Pancreatic cancers respond poorly to existing chemotherapeutic agents and radiation, and progress for the treatment of pancreatic cancer remains elusive. To address this unmet medical need, a better understanding of critical pathways and molecular mechanisms involved in pancreatic tumor development, progression, and resistance to traditional therapy is therefore critical. Reduction-oxidation (redox) signaling systems are emerging as important targets in pancreatic cancer. AP endonuclease1/Redox effector factor 1 (APE1/Ref-1) is upregulated in human pancreatic cancer cells and modulation of its redox activity blocks the proliferation and migration of pancreatic cancer cells and pancreatic cancer-associated endothelial cells in vitro. Modulation of APE1/Ref-1 using a specific inhibitor of APE1/Ref-1's redox function, E3330, leads to a decrease in transcription factor activity for NFκB, AP-1, and HIF1α in vitro. This study aims to further establish the redox signaling protein APE1/Ref-1 as a molecular target in pancreatic cancer. Here, we show that inhibition of APE1/Ref-1 via E3330 results in tumor growth inhibition in cell lines and pancreatic cancer xenograft models in mice. Pharmacokinetic studies also show that E3330 attains more than10 μmol/L blood concentrations and is detectable in tumor xenografts. Through inhibition of APE1/Ref-1, the activity of NFκB, AP-1, and HIF1α that are key transcriptional regulators involved in survival, invasion, and metastasis is blocked. These data indicate that E3330, inhibitor of APE1/Ref-1, has potential in pancreatic cancer and clinical investigation of APE1/Ref-1 molecular target is warranted.

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