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Biochemistry. 2012 Jan 17;51(2):724-31. doi: 10.1021/bi201428h. Epub 2012 Jan 6.

Structure-based discovery of a novel inhibitor targeting the β-catenin/Tcf4 interaction.

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Department of Pharmacology, State University of New York, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York 13210, United States.


Overactivation or overexpression of β-catenin in the Wnt (wingless) signaling pathway plays an important role in tumorigenesis. Interaction of β-catenin with T-cell factor (Tcf) DNA binding proteins is a key step in the activation of the proliferative genes in response to upstream signals of this Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Recently, we identified a new small molecule inhibitor, named BC21 (C(32)H(36)Cl(2)Cu(2)N(2)O(2)), which effectively inhibits the binding of β-catenin with Tcf4-derived peptide and suppresses β-catenin/Tcf4 driven reporter gene activity. This inhibitor decreases the viability of β-catenin overexpressing HCT116 colon cancer cells that harbor the β-catenin mutation, and more significantly, it inhibits the clonogenic activity of these cells. Down-regulation of c-Myc and cyclin D1 expression, the two important effectors of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling, is confirmed by treating HCT116 cells with BC21. This compound represents a new and modifiable potential anticancer candidate that targets β-catenin/Tcf-4 interaction.

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