Wang, Hu, Qin, Cheng, Li, Rajaei, Fan, Yang, Zhang (2019) A novel inhibitor of MDM2 oncogene blocks metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma and overcomes chemoresistance Genes & diseases 6(4) 419-430


Overexpression of the MDM2 oncogene and mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor commonly occur in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and are associated with increased mortality due to this disease. Inhibiting MDM2 has been demonstrated to be a valid approach for the treatment of HCC. However, most of the MDM2 inhibitors evaluated to date have been designed to block the MDM2 and p53 binding, and have limited efficacy against tumors with mutant or deficient p53. In the present study, we developed a novel MDM2 inhibitor (termed SP141) that has direct effects on MDM2 and exerts anti-HCC activity independent of the p53 status of the cancer cells. We demonstrate that SP141 inhibits cell growth and prevents cell migration and invasion, independent of p53. Mechanistically, SP141 directly binds the MDM2 protein and promotes MDM2 degradation. The inhibition of MDM2 by SP141 also increases the sensitivity of HCC cells to sorafenib. In addition, in orthotopic and patient-derived xenograft models, SP141 inhibits MDM2 expression and suppresses tumor growth and metastasis, without any host toxicity. Furthermore, the inhibition of MDM2 by SP141 is essential for its anti-HCC activities. These results provide support for the further development of SP141 as a lead candidate for the treatment of HCC. © 2019 Chongqing Medical University. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V.


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