Publications by authors named "Xiaozhuo Chen"

39 Publications

A small-molecule pan-class I glucose transporter inhibitor reduces cancer cell proliferation in vitro and tumor growth in vivo by targeting glucose-based metabolism.

Cancer Metab 2021 Mar 26;9(1):14. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Biological Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, OH, 45701, USA.

Background: Cancer cells drastically increase the uptake of glucose and glucose metabolism by overexpressing class I glucose transporters (GLUT1-4) to meet their energy and biomass synthesis needs and are very sensitive and vulnerable to glucose deprivation. Although targeting glucose uptake via GLUTs has been an attractive anticancer strategy, the relative anticancer efficacy of multi-GLUT targeting or single GLUT targeting is unclear. Here, we report DRB18, a synthetic small molecule, is a potent anticancer compound whose pan-class I GLUT inhibition is superior to single GLUT targeting.

Methods: Glucose uptake and MTT/resazurin assays were used to measure DRB18's inhibitory activities of glucose transport and cell viability/proliferation in human lung cancer and other cancer cell lines. Four HEK293 cell lines expressing GLUT1-4 individually were used to determine the IC values of DRB18's inhibitory activity of glucose transport. Docking studies were performed to investigate the potential direct interaction of DRB18 with GLUT1-4. Metabolomics analysis was performed to identify metabolite changes in A549 lung cancer cells treated with DRB18. DRB18 was used to treat A549 tumor-bearing nude mice. The GLUT1 gene was knocked out to determine how the KO of the gene affected tumor growth.

Results: DRB18 reduced glucose uptake mediated via each of GLUT1-4 with different ICs, which match with the docking glidescores with a correlation coefficient of 0.858. Metabolomics analysis revealed that DRB18 altered energy-related metabolism in A549 cells by changing the abundance of metabolites in glucose-related pathways in vitro and in vivo. DRB18 eventually led to G1/S phase arrest and increased oxidative stress and necrotic cell death. IP injection of DRB18 in A549 tumor-bearing nude mice at 10 mg/kg body weight thrice a week led to a significant reduction in the tumor volume compared with mock-treated tumors. In contrast, the knockout of the GLUT1 gene did not reduce tumor volume.

Conclusions: DRB18 is a potent pan-class I GLUT inhibitor in vitro and in vivo in cancer cells. Mechanistically, it is likely to bind the outward open conformation of GLUT1-4, reducing tumor growth through inhibiting GLUT1-4-mediated glucose transport and metabolisms. Pan-class I GLUT inhibition is a better strategy than single GLUT targeting for inhibiting tumor growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40170-021-00248-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8004435PMC
March 2021

Natural Compound α-PGG and Its Synthetic Derivative 6Cl-TGQ Alter Insulin Secretion: Evidence for Diminishing Glucose Uptake as a Mechanism.

Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes 2021 24;14:759-772. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University of California at Davis (UC Davis) School of Medicine, UC Davis Health Science, Sacramento, CA, 95817, USA.

Purpose: Previously we showed that natural compound α-penta-galloyl-glucose (α-PGG) and its synthetic derivative 6-chloro-6-deoxy-1,2,3,4-tetra-O-galloyl-α-D-glucopyranose (6Cl-TGQ) act to improve insulin signaling in adipocytes by increasing glucose transport. In this study, we investigated the mechanism of actions of α-PGG and 6Cl-TGQ on insulin secretion.

Methods: Mouse islets and/or INS-1832/13 beta-cells were used to test the effects of our compounds on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), intracellular calcium [Ca] using fura-2AM, glucose transport activity via a radioactive glucose uptake assay, intracellular ATP/ADP, and extracellular acidification (ECAR) and mitochondrial oxygen consumption rates (OCAR) using Seahorse metabolic analysis.

Results: Both compounds reduced GSIS in beta-cells without negatively affecting cell viability. The compounds primarily diminished glucose uptake into islets and beta-cells. Despite insulin-like effects in the peripheral tissues, these compounds do not act through the insulin receptor in islets. Further interrogation of the stimulus-secretion pathway showed that all the key metabolic factors involved in GSIS including ECAR, OCAR, ATP/ADP ratios, and [Ca] of INS-1832/13 cells were diminished after the compound treatment.

Conclusion: The compounds suppress glucose uptake of the beta-cells, which consequently slows down the rates of glycolysis and ATP synthesis, leading to decrease in [Ca] and GSIS. The difference between adipocytes and beta-cells in effects on glucose uptake is of great interest. Further structural and functional modifications could produce new compounds with optimized therapeutic potentials for different target cells. The higher potency of synthetic 6Cl-TGQ in enhancing insulin signaling in adipocytes but lower potency in reducing glucose uptake in beta-cells compared to α-PGG suggests the feasibility of such an approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S284295DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7917315PMC
February 2021

Isosteres of ester derived glucose uptake inhibitors.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2020 09 15;30(18):127406. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA; Program of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA. Electronic address:

Glucose transporters (GLUTs) facilitate glucose uptake and are overexpressed in most cancer cells. Inhibition of glucose transport has been shown to be an effective method to slow the growth of cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. We have previously reported on the anticancer activity of an ester derived glucose uptake inhibitor. Due to the hydrolytic instability of the ester linkage we have prepared a series of isosteres of the ester moiety. Of all of the isosteres prepared, the amine linkage showed the most promise. Several additional analogues of the amine-linked compounds were also prepared to improve the overall activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2020.127406DOI Listing
September 2020

Na/K-ATPase-Targeted Cytotoxicity of (+)-Digoxin and Several Semisynthetic Derivatives.

J Nat Prod 2020 03 25;83(3):638-648. Epub 2020 Feb 25.

Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, United States.

(+)-Digoxin () is a well-known cardiac glycoside long used to treat congestive heart failure and found more recently to show anticancer activity. Several known cardenolides (-) and two new analogues, (+)-8(9)-β-anhydrodigoxigenin () and (+)-17--20,22-dihydro-21α-hydroxydigoxin (), were synthesized from and evaluated for their cytotoxicity toward a small panel of human cancer cell lines. A preliminary structure-activity relationship investigation conducted indicated that the C-12 and C-14 hydroxy groups and the C-17 unsaturated lactone unit are important for to mediate its cytotoxicity toward human cancer cells, but the C-3 glycosyl residue seems to be less critical for such an effect. Molecular docking profiles showed that the cytotoxic and the noncytotoxic derivative bind differentially to Na/K-ATPase. The HO-12β, HO-14β, and HO-3'aα hydroxy groups of (+)-digoxin () may form hydrogen bonds with the side-chains of Asp121 and Asn122, Thr797, and Arg880 of Na/K-ATPase, respectively, but the altered lactone unit of results in a rotation of its steroid core, which depotentiates the binding between this compound and Na/K-ATPase. Thus, was found to inhibit Na/K-ATPase, but did not. In addition, the cytotoxic did not affect glucose uptake in human cancer cells, indicating that this cardiac glycoside mediates its cytotoxicity by targeting Na/K-ATPase but not by interacting with glucose transporters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.9b01060DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7243443PMC
March 2020

The anti-diabetic effect of eight Lagerstroemia speciosa leaf extracts based on the contents of ellagitannins and ellagic acid derivatives.

Food Funct 2020 Feb;11(2):1560-1571

College of Food Science and Technology, Northwest University, 229 Taibai North Road, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710069, China.

Previously, we have reported the opposite effects of compounds isolated from Lagerstroemia speciosa leaves on a glucose transport (GLUT4) assay. Ellagitannins from L. speciosa activated GLUT4, while ellagic acid derivatives showed an inhibitory effect. As part of our continuing research on anti-diabetic nutritional supplements, we herein compared the anti-diabetic effects of several extracts (LE1-8) from leaves of L. speciosa using different manufacturing processes based on the contents of ellagitannins and ellagic acid derivatives. Their anti-diabetic effects were evaluated through glucose uptake and adipocyte differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells in vitro as well as alloxan induced diabetic mice in vivo. These extracts were given to mice by gavage at doses of 0.25, 1.0, and 4.0 g per kg body weight once a day for 21 consecutive days. Results showed that LE1 (1.0 g kg-1), LE3 (1.0 or 4.0 g kg-1), LE4 (1.0 or 4.0 g kg-1), LE5 (0.25 or 1.0 or 4.0 g kg-1) and LE7 (1.0 or 4.0 g kg-1) showed significant anti-diabetic effects in alloxan-induced diabetic mice as indicated by the decreased levels of fasting blood glucose, body weight, serum biomarkers, tissue weight and body fat, and increased final insulin levels. LE8 (1.0 g kg-1) showed a moderate anti-diabetic effect as illustrated by the reduced fasting blood glucose level while LE2 and LE6 showed slight effects in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. The potential correlation of the content of ellagitannins, ellagic acid derivatives, and corosolic acid with the anti-diabetic activity was discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c9fo03091cDOI Listing
February 2020

Cytotoxic and non-cytotoxic cardiac glycosides isolated from the combined flowers, leaves, and twigs of Streblus asper.

Bioorg Med Chem 2020 02 7;28(4):115301. Epub 2020 Jan 7.

Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, United States. Electronic address:

A new non-cytotoxic [(+)-17β-hydroxystrebloside (1)] and two known cytotoxic [(+)-3'-de-O-methylkamaloside (2) and (+)-strebloside (3)] cardiac glycosides were isolated and identified from the combined flowers, leaves, and twigs of Streblus asper collected in Vietnam, with the absolute configuration of 1 established from analysis of its ECD and NMR spectroscopic data and confirmed by computational ECD calculations. A new 14,21-epoxycardanolide (3a) was synthesized from 3 that was treated with base. A preliminary structure-activity relationship study indicated that the C-14 hydroxy group and the C-17 lactone unit and the established conformation are important for the mediation of the cytotoxicity of 3. Molecular docking profiles showed that the cytotoxic 3 and its non-cytotoxic analogue 1 bind differentially to Na/K-ATPase. Compound 3 docks deeply in the Na/K-ATPase pocket with a sole pose, and its C-10 formyl and C-5, C-14, and C-4' hydroxy groups may form hydrogen bonds with the side-chains of Glu111, Glu117, Thr797, and Arg880 of Na/K-ATPase, respectively. However, 1 fits the cation binding sites with at least three different poses, which all depotentiate the binding between 1 and Na/K-ATPase. Thus, 3 was found to inhibit Na/K-ATPase, but 1 did not. In addition, the cytotoxic and Na/K-ATPase inhibitory 3 did not affect glucose uptake in human lung cancer cells, against which it showed potent activity, indicating that this cardiac glycoside mediates its cytotoxicity by targeting Na/K-ATPase but not by interacting with glucose transporters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2019.115301DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7029422PMC
February 2020

Plant-derived glucose transport inhibitors with potential antitumor activity.

Phytother Res 2020 May 10;34(5):1027-1040. Epub 2019 Dec 10.

Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Glucose, a key nutrient utilized by human cells to provide cellular energy and a carbon source for biomass synthesis, is internalized in cells via glucose transporters that regulate glucose homeostasis throughout the human body. Glucose transporters have been used as important targets for the discovery of new drugs to treat cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, owing to their abnormal expression during these disease conditions. Thus far, several glucose transport inhibitors have been used in clinical trials, and increasing numbers of natural products have been characterized as potential anticancer agents targeting glucose transport. The present review focuses on natural product glucose transport inhibitors of plant origin, including alkaloids, flavonoids and other phenolic compounds, and isoprenoids, with their potential antitumor properties also discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ptr.6587DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7263379PMC
May 2020

Extracellular and macropinocytosis internalized ATP work together to induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition and other early metastatic activities in lung cancer.

Cancer Cell Int 2019 1;19:254. Epub 2019 Oct 1.

1Department of Biological Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701 USA.

Background: Extracellular ATP (eATP) was shown to induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a very important early process in metastasis, in cancer cells via purinergic receptor signaling. However, the exact induction mechanisms are far from fully known. We previously described that eATP is internalized by cancer cells in vitro and in vivo by macropinocytosis in human non-small cell lung cancer A549 and other cancer cells, drastically elevates intracellular ATP levels, enhances cell proliferation and resistance to anticancer drugs. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that eATP and macropinocytosis-internalized eATP also induces EMT and other early steps of metastasis.

Methods: Floating cells, fencing, and transwell assays were used to show that ATP induces cell detachment, new colony formation, migration and invasion in human A549 and other lung cancer cells. Western blots were used to detect ATP-induced changes in EMT-related proteins; Confocal microscopy was used to demonstrate ATP-induced metastasis-related cell morphological changes. Inhibitors and siRNA knockdowns were used to determine P2X7's involvement in the ATP-induced EMT. CRISPR-Cas9 knockout of the SNX5 gene was used to identify macropinocytosis' roles in EMT and cancer cell growth both in vitro and in vivo. Student t-test and one-way ANOVA were used to determine statistical significance, P < 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: eATP potently induces expression of matrix metallopeptidases (MMPs), and detachment, EMT, migration, and invasion of lung cancer cells. The induction was independent of TGF-β and semi-independent of P2X7 activation. eATP performs these functions not only extracellularly, but also intracellularly after being macropinocytically internalized to further enhance P2X7-mediated EMT, filopodia formation and other early steps of metastasis. The knockout of macropinocytosis-associated SNX5 gene significantly reduces macropinocytosis, slows down tumor growth, and changes tumor morphology in nude mice.

Conclusions: Collectively, these results show that eATP's functions in these processes not only from outside of cancer cells but also inside after being macropinocytotically internalized. These findings shed light on eATP's initiator and effector roles in almost every step in early metastasis, which calls for rethinking and rebalancing energy equations of intracellular biochemical reactions and the Warburg effect, and identifies eATP and macropinocytosis as novel targets for potentially slowing down EMT and preventing metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12935-019-0973-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6771108PMC
October 2019

Extracellular ATP, as an energy and phosphorylating molecule, induces different types of drug resistances in cancer cells through ATP internalization and intracellular ATP level increase.

Oncotarget 2017 Oct 23;8(50):87860-87877. Epub 2017 Sep 23.

Department of Biological Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701, USA.

Cancer cells are able to uptake extracellular ATP (eATP) via macropinocytosis to elevate intracellular ATP (iATP) levels, enhancing their survival in drug treatment. However, the involved drug resistance mechanisms are unknown. Here we investigated the roles of eATP as either an energy or a phosphorylating molecule in general drug resistance mediated by ATP internalization and iATP elevation. We report that eATP increased iATP levels and promoted drug resistance to various tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and chemo-drugs in human cancer cell lines of five cancer types. In A549 lung cancer cells, the resistance was downregulated by macropinocytosis inhibition or siRNA knockdown of PAK1, an essential macropinocytosis enzyme. The elevated iATP upregulated the efflux activity of ABC transporters in A549 and SK-Hep-1 cells as well as phosphorylation of PDGFRα and proteins in the PDGFR-mediated Akt-mTOR and Raf-MEK signaling pathways in A549 cells. Similar phosphorylation upregulations were found in A549 tumors. These results demonstrate that eATP induces different types of drug resistance by eATP internalization and iATP elevation, implicating the ATP-rich tumor microenvironment in cancer drug resistance, expanding our understanding of the roles of eATP in the Warburg effect and offering new anticancer drug resistance targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21231DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5675678PMC
October 2017

Cardiac Glycoside Constituents of Streblus asper with Potential Antineoplastic Activity.

J Nat Prod 2017 03 16;80(3):648-658. Epub 2016 Dec 16.

Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago , Chicago, Illinois 60612, United States.

Three new (1-3) and two known (4 and 5) cytotoxic cardiac glycosides were isolated and characterized from a medicinal plant, Streblus asper Lour. (Moraceae), collected in Vietnam, with six new analogues and one known derivative (5a-g) synthesized from (+)-strebloside (5). A preliminary structure-activity relationship study indicated that the C-10 formyl and C-5 and C-14 hydroxy groups and C-3 sugar unit play important roles in the mediation of the cytotoxicity of (+)-strebloside (5) against HT-29 human colon cancer cells. When evaluated in NCr nu/nu mice implanted intraperitoneally with hollow fibers facilitated with either MDA-MB-231 human breast or OVCAR3 human ovarian cancer cells, (+)-strebloside (5) showed significant cell growth inhibitory activity in both cases, in the dose range 5-30 mg/kg.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.6b00924DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5365359PMC
March 2017

Extracellular ATP a New Player in Cancer Metabolism: NSCLC Cells Internalize ATP In Vitro and In Vivo Using Multiple Endocytic Mechanisms.

Mol Cancer Res 2016 11 30;14(11):1087-1096. Epub 2016 Aug 30.

The Edison Biotechnology Institute, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.

Intratumoral extracellular ATP concentrations are 1000 times higher than those in normal tissues of the same cell origin. However, whether or not cancer cells use the abundant extracellular ATP was unknown until we recently reported that cancer cells internalize ATP. The internalized ATP was found to substantially increase intracellular ATP concentration and promote cell proliferation and drug resistance in cancer cells. Here, using a nonhydrolyzable fluorescent ATP (NHF-ATP), radioactive and regular ATP, coupled with high and low molecular weight dextrans as endocytosis tracers and fluorescence microscopy and ATP assays, cultured human NSCLC A549 and H1299 cells as well as A549 tumor xenografts were found to internalize extracellular ATP at concentrations within the reported intratumoral extracellular ATP concentration range. In addition to macropinocytosis, both clathrin- and caveolae-mediated endocytosis significantly contribute to the ATP internalization, which led to an approximately 30% (within 45 minutes) or more than 50% (within 4 hours) increase in intracellular ATP levels after ATP incubation. This increase could not be accounted for by either purinergic receptor signaling or increased intracellular ATP synthesis rates in the ATP-treated cancer cells. These new findings significantly deepen our understanding of the Warburg effect by shedding light on how cancer cells in tumors, which are heterogeneous for oxygen and nutrition supplies, take up extracellular ATP and use the internalized ATP to perform multiple previously unrecognized functions of biological importance. They strongly suggest the existence of ATP sharing among cancer and stromal cells in tumors and simultaneously identify multiple new anticancer targets.

Implications: Extracellular ATP is taken up by human lung cancer cells and tumors via macropinocytosis and other endocytic processes to supplement their extra energy needs for cancer growth, survival, and drug resistance, thus providing novel targets for future cancer therapy. Mol Cancer Res; 14(11); 1087-96. ©2016 AACR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-16-0118DOI Listing
November 2016

Novel 1,5-diphenyl-6-substituted 1H-pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidin-4(5H)-ones induced apoptosis in RKO colon cancer cells.

J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem 2016 Dec 18;31(6):1286-99. Epub 2015 Dec 18.

e Department of Biomedical Sciences , Edison Biotechnology Institute, Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, Ohio University , Athens , Ohio , USA.

Novel 1,5-diphenyl-6-substituted-1H-pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidin-4(5H)-ones were synthesized and characterized. All compounds were screened for their anti-proliferative activities in five different cancer cell lines. The results showed that compounds 7a and 7b comprising aminoguanidino or guanidino moiety at position 6 inhibited proliferation of RKO colon cancer cells with IC50 of 8 and 4 μM, respectively. Compounds 7a and 7b induced apoptosis in RKO cells, which was confirmed by TUNEL and annexin V-FITC assays. Flow cytometric analysis indicated that compounds 7a and 7b arrested RKO cells in the G1 phase and the most active compound 7b increased levels of p53, p21, Bax, ERK1/2 and reduced levels of Bcl2 and Akt. Compound 7b also activates release of cytochrome c, which is consistent with activation of caspase-9. Additionally, compound 7b increased caspase-3 activity and cleaved PARP-1 in RKO cells. Collectively, these findings could establish a molecular basis for the development of new anti-cancer agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/14756366.2015.1118686DOI Listing
December 2016

Salicylketoximes That Target Glucose Transporter 1 Restrict Energy Supply to Lung Cancer Cells.

ChemMedChem 2015 Nov 1;10(11):1892-900. Epub 2015 Sep 1.

Dipartimento di Farmacia, Università di Pisa, Via Bonanno 33, 56126, Pisa, Italy.

The glucose transporter GLUT1 is frequently overexpressed in most tumor tissues because rapidly proliferating cancer cells rely primarily on glycolysis, a low-efficiency metabolic pathway that necessitates a very high rate of glucose consumption. Because blocking GLUT1 is a promising anticancer strategy, we developed a novel class of GLUT1 inhibitors based on the 4-aryl-substituted salicylketoxime scaffold. Some of these compounds are efficient inhibitors of glucose uptake in lung cancer cells and have a notable antiproliferative effect. In contrast to their 5-aryl-substituted regioisomers, the newly synthesized compounds reported herein do not display significant binding to the estrogen receptors. The inhibition of glucose uptake in cancer cells by these compounds was further observed by fluorescence microscopy imaging using a fluorescent analogue of glucose. Therefore, blocking the ability of tumor cells to take up glucose by means of these small molecules, or by further optimized derivatives, may be a successful approach in the development of novel anticancer drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cmdc.201500320DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4743644PMC
November 2015

The Warburg effect: evolving interpretations of an established concept.

Free Radic Biol Med 2015 Feb 30;79:253-63. Epub 2014 Sep 30.

Edison Biotechnology Institute, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA; Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA; Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA. Electronic address:

Metabolic reprogramming and altered bioenergetics have emerged as hallmarks of cancer and an area of active basic and translational cancer research. Drastically upregulated glucose transport and metabolism in most cancers regardless of the oxygen supply, a phenomenon called the Warburg effect, is a major focuses of the research. Warburg speculated that cancer cells, due to defective mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), switch to glycolysis for ATP synthesis, even in the presence of oxygen. Studies in the recent decade indicated that while glycolysis is indeed drastically upregulated in almost all cancer cells, mitochondrial respiration continues to operate normally at rates proportional to oxygen supply. There is no OXPHOS-to-glycolysis switch but rather upregulation of glycolysis. Furthermore, upregulated glycolysis appears to be for synthesis of biomass and reducing equivalents in addition to ATP production. The new finding that a significant amount of glycolytic intermediates is diverted to the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) for production of NADPH has profound implications in how cancer cells use the Warburg effect to cope with reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and oxidative stress, opening the door for anticancer interventions taking advantage of this. Recent findings in the Warburg effect and its relationship with ROS and oxidative stress controls will be reviewed. Cancer treatment strategies based on these new findings will be presented and discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2014.08.027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4356994PMC
February 2015

Extracellular ATP is internalized by macropinocytosis and induces intracellular ATP increase and drug resistance in cancer cells.

Cancer Lett 2014 Sep 26;351(2):242-51. Epub 2014 Jun 26.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA; Department of Biological Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA; Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA; Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA; Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA; The Edison Biotechnology Institute, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA. Electronic address:

ATP plays central roles in cancer metabolism and the Warburg effect. Intratumoral ATP concentrations are up to 10(4) times higher than those of interstitial ATP in normal tissues. However, extracellular ATP is not known to enter cancer cells. Here we report that human A549 lung cancer cells internalized extracellular ATP by macropinocytosis as demonstrated by colocalization of a nonhydrolyzable fluorescent ATP and a macropinocytosis tracer high-molecular-weight dextran, as well as by a macropinocytosis inhibitor study. Extracellular ATP also induced increase of intracellular ATP levels, without involving transcription and translation at significant levels, and cancer cells' resistance to ATP-competitor anticancer drugs, likely through the mechanism of ATP internalization. These findings, described for the first time, have profound implications in ATP-sharing among cancer cells in tumors and highlight a novel anticancer target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canlet.2014.06.008DOI Listing
September 2014

Biological and biomedical functions of Penta-O-galloyl-D-glucose and its derivatives.

J Nat Med 2014 Jul 15;68(3):465-72. Epub 2014 Feb 15.

Department of Biological Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA.

Penta-O-galloyl-D-glucose (PGG) is a simple hydrolysable tannin in plants. PGG exists in two anomeric forms, α-PGG and β-PGG. While β-PGG can be found in a wide variety of plants, α-PGG is rather rare in nature. Numerous studies with β-PGG revealed a wide variety of biological activities, such as anti-microbial and anti-cancer functions. Until recently, studies with α-PGG were limited by the lack of its availability. Since the development of an efficient chemical synthesis of the compound, several investigations have revealed its anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, and anti-platelet-coagulation functions. Based on structure-activity-relationship (SAR) studies with α-PGG, a variety of α-PGG-related novel compounds were synthesized and some of them have been shown to possess promising therapeutic activities. In this review, the authors will survey and evaluate the biological functions of PGG with a focus on α-PGG and its derivatives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11418-014-0823-2DOI Listing
July 2014

Constituents of an extract of Cryptocarya rubra housed in a repository with cytotoxic and glucose transport inhibitory effects.

J Nat Prod 2014 Mar 17;77(3):550-6. Epub 2013 Dec 17.

Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University , Columbus, Ohio 43210, United States.

A new alkylated chalcone (1), a new 1,16-hexadecanediol diester (2), and eight known compounds were isolated from a dichloromethane-soluble repository extract of the leaves and twigs of Cryptocarya rubra collected in Hawaii. The structures of the new compounds were determined by interpretation of their spectroscopic data, and the absolute configurations of the two known cryptocaryanone-type flavonoid dimers, (+)-bicaryanone A (3) and (+)-chalcocaryanone C (4), were ascertained by analysis of their electronic circular dichroism and NOESY NMR spectra. All compounds isolated were evaluated against HT-29 human colon cancer cells, and, of these, (+)-cryptocaryone (5) was found to be potently cytotoxic toward this cancer cell line, with an IC50 value of 0.32 μM. This compound also exhibited glucose transport inhibitory activity when tested in a glucose uptake assay.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/np400809wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4047178PMC
March 2014

Oxime-based inhibitors of glucose transporter 1 displaying antiproliferative effects in cancer cells.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2013 Dec 28;23(24):6923-7. Epub 2013 Sep 28.

Dipartimento di Farmacia, Università di Pisa, Via Bonanno 6, 56126 Pisa, Italy.

An analysis of the main pharmacophoric features present in the still limited number of inhibitors of glucose transporter GLUT1 led to the identification of new oxime-based inhibitors, which proved to be able to efficiently hinder glucose uptake and cell growth in H1299 lung cancer cells. The most important interactions of a representative inhibitor were indicated by a novel computational model of GLUT1, which was purposely developed to explain these results and to provide useful indications for the design and the development of new and more efficient GLUT1 inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2013.09.037DOI Listing
December 2013

Synthesis of 4″-O-desosaminyl clarithromycin derivatives and their anti-bacterial activities.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2013 Dec 3;23(23):6274-9. Epub 2013 Oct 3.

State Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substances and Functions of Natural Medicines, Beijing Key Laboratory of Active Substances Discovery and Drugability Evaluation, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Institute of Materia Medica, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100050, PR China.

A series of new 4″-O-desosaminyl clarithromycin derivatives were designed and synthesized. The efficient synthesis routes of 6-deoxy-desosamine donors 8 and 11 were developed and the methodology of glycosylation of clarithromycin 4″-OH with desosamine was studied. The activities of the target compounds were tested against a series of macrolide-sensitive and macrolide-resistant pathogens. Some of them showed activities against macrolide sensitive pathogens, and compounds 19 and 22 displayed significant improvement of activities against sensitive pathogens and two strains of MRSE, which verified the importance of desosamine in the interaction of macrolide and its receptor, and offered valuable information of the SAR of macrolide 4″-OH derivatives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2013.09.083DOI Listing
December 2013

Synthesis and antibacterial activity of novel modified 5-O-mycaminose 14-membered ketolides.

Eur J Med Chem 2013 Nov 23;69:174-81. Epub 2013 Aug 23.

State Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substances and Functions of Natural Medicines, Beijing Key Laboratory of Active Substances Discovery and Drugability Evaluation, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Institute of Materia Medica, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100050, PR China.

A practicable method of introducing a side chain to the C-4' position of 5-O-desosamine in the 14-membered ketolides was developed. And using this method, a series of novel modified 5-O-mycaminose ketolides were synthesized. These ketolides containing 5-O-4'-carbamate mycaminose were evaluated for their in vitro antibacterial activities against some respiratory pathogens. 15b and 18e showed comparable activity to telithromycin and clarithromycin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmech.2013.08.023DOI Listing
November 2013

Orally efficacious novel small molecule 6-chloro-6-deoxy-1,2,3,4-tetra-O-galloyl-α-D-glucopyranose selectively and potently stimulates insulin receptor and alleviates diabetes.

J Mol Endocrinol 2013 17;51(1):15-26. Epub 2013 May 17.

Department of Biological Science, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA.

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has become an epidemic worldwide while T1D remains a great medical challenge. Insulin receptor (IR) signaling activators could alleviate hyperglycemia, reduce the burden on the pancreas, and contribute to prevention and treatment of both types of diabetes. Previously, we reported the synthesis and identification of a natural antidiabetic compound α-penta-galloyl-glucose (α-PGG). Subsequent studies led to the identification of an α-P6GG derivative, 6-chloro-6-deoxy-1,2,3,4-tetra-O-galloyl-α-D-glucopyranose (6Cl-TGQ). Here, we report that 6Cl-TGQ not only induced rapid and long-lasting glucose uptake comparable to insulin in adipocytes but also reduced high blood glucose levels to near normal and significantly decreased plasma insulin levels and improved glucose tolerance performance in high-fat diet-induced T2D mice when administered orally at 5 mg/kg once every other day. Moreover, a single gavage of 6Cl-TGQ at 10 mg/kg induced rapid and sharp decline of blood glucose in streptozotocin-induced T1D mice. Our studies further indicated that 6Cl-TGQ activated IR signaling in cell models and insulin-responsive tissues of mice. 6Cl-TGQ-induced Akt phosphorylation was completely blocked by IR and PI3K inhibitors, while the induced glucose uptake was blocked by the same compounds and a Glut4 inhibitor. Receptor binding studies indicated that 6Cl-TGQ bound to IR with a higher affinity than α-PGG. Importantly, 6Cl-TGQ, unlike insulin, selectively induced phosphorylation of IR without activating IGF1R or its signaling and did not increase cancer cell proliferation. These results indicate that 6Cl-TGQ is a potent orally efficacious compound with low carcinogenic potential and may contribute to the prevention and treatment of T1D and T2D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/JME-12-0171DOI Listing
January 2014

Synthesis and Antitumor Activity of Ellagic Acid Peracetate.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2012 Aug 17;3(8):631-636. Epub 2012 Jun 17.

Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, United States.

Ellagic acid (1) was synthesized for the first time from methyl gallate through 3-pentagalloylglucose (α-PGG), and ellagic acid peracetate (3,4,3',4'-tetra-O-acetylellagic acid, 2) was derived from 1 by acetylation. Oral administration of 2 suppressed melanoma growth significantly in C7BL/6 immunocompetent mice without having any effect on natural killer (NK) cell activity. Comparison of the immunoenhancing activities of 1 and 2 indicated that the latter compound increased white blood cell quantities in peripheral blood and immune cells enriched from the bone marrow and liver of mice. Therefore, both the antitumor efficacy and the immunity enhancement by 2 were greater than those by 1. In addition, on oral administration neither 1 nor 2 resulted in whole body, liver, or spleen weight changes of normal, tumor-free mice, indicating that these compounds are potentially non-toxic to mice. It was shown that ellagic acid peracetate (2) inhibits B16 melanoma cell growth in vitro, and induces B16 cell apoptosis, corresponding to BCL-2 down-regulation. Collectively, the present data imply that 2 can suppress tumor growth by enhancing mouse immunity and inducing tumor cell apoptosis without apparent side effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ml300065zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3505040PMC
August 2012

Synthesis and antibacterial activity of novel modified 5-O-desosamine ketolides.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2012 Dec 23;22(24):7402-5. Epub 2012 Oct 23.

State Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substances and Functions of Natural Medicines, Beijing Key Laboratory of Active Substances Discovery and Drugability Evaluation, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Institute of Materia Medica, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100050, PR China.

A series of novel modified 5-O-desosamine-ketolides were synthesized. The 5-O-desosamine fragment was removed from ketolide by an efficient and mild manipulation. 4-O-substituted desosamine was introduced into the ketolide aglycon and various coupling methods were essayed for the glycosylation. Three novel ketolides were tested for in vitro antibacterial activity against a panel of susceptible and resistant pathogens. Compound 26 showed potent activity against all the methicillin-sensitivity and resistant pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2012.10.064DOI Listing
December 2012

A small-molecule inhibitor of glucose transporter 1 downregulates glycolysis, induces cell-cycle arrest, and inhibits cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo.

Mol Cancer Ther 2012 Aug 11;11(8):1672-82. Epub 2012 Jun 11.

Department of Biological Science, Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA.

The functional and therapeutic importance of the Warburg effect is increasingly recognized, and glycolysis has become a target of anticancer strategies. We recently reported the identification of a group of novel small compounds that inhibit basal glucose transport and reduce cancer cell growth by a glucose deprivation-like mechanism. We hypothesized that the compounds target Glut1 and are efficacious in vivo as anticancer agents. Here, we report that a novel representative compound WZB117 not only inhibited cell growth in cancer cell lines but also inhibited cancer growth in a nude mouse model. Daily intraperitoneal injection of WZB117 at 10 mg/kg resulted in a more than 70% reduction in the size of human lung cancer of A549 cell origin. Mechanism studies showed that WZB117 inhibited glucose transport in human red blood cells (RBC), which express Glut1 as their sole glucose transporter. Cancer cell treatment with WZB117 led to decreases in levels of Glut1 protein, intracellular ATP, and glycolytic enzymes. All these changes were followed by increase in ATP-sensing enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and declines in cyclin E2 as well as phosphorylated retinoblastoma, resulting in cell-cycle arrest, senescence, and necrosis. Addition of extracellular ATP rescued compound-treated cancer cells, suggesting that the reduction of intracellular ATP plays an important role in the anticancer mechanism of the molecule. Senescence induction and the essential role of ATP were reported for the first time in Glut1 inhibitor-treated cancer cells. Thus, WZB117 is a prototype for further development of anticancer therapeutics targeting Glut1-mediated glucose transport and glucose metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-12-0131DOI Listing
August 2012

A novel small molecule 1,2,3,4,6-penta-O-galloyl-α-D-glucopyranose mimics the antiplatelet actions of insulin.

PLoS One 2011 2;6(11):e26238. Epub 2011 Nov 2.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, United States of America.

Background: We have shown that 1,2,3,4,6-penta-O-galloyl-α-D-glucopyranose (α-PGG), an orally effective hypoglycemic small molecule, binds to insulin receptors and activates insulin-mediated glucose transport. Insulin has been shown to bind to its receptors on platelets and inhibit platelet activation. In this study we tested our hypothesis that if insulin possesses anti-platelet properties then insulin mimetic small molecules should mimic antiplatelet actions of insulin.

Principal Findings: Incubation of human platelets with insulin or α-PGG induced phosphorylation of insulin receptors and IRS-1 and blocked ADP or collagen induced aggregation. Pre-treatment of platelets with α-PGG inhibited thrombin-induced release of P-selectin, secretion of ATP and aggregation. Addition of ADP or thrombin to platelets significantly decreased the basal cyclic AMP levels. Pre-incubation of platelets with α-PGG blocked ADP or thrombin induced decrease in platelet cyclic AMP levels but did not alter the basal or PGE(1) induced increase in cAMP levels. Addition of α-PGG to platelets blocked agonist induced rise in platelet cytosolic calcium and phosphorylation of Akt. Administration of α-PGG (20 mg kg(-1)) to wild type mice blocked ex vivo platelet aggregation induced by ADP or collagen.

Conclusions: These data suggest that α-PGG inhibits platelet activation, at least in part, by inducing phosphorylation of insulin receptors leading to inhibition of agonist induced: (a) decrease in cyclic AMP; (b) rise in cytosolic calcium; and (c) phosphorylation of Akt. These findings taken together with our earlier reports that α-PGG mimics insulin signaling suggest that inhibition of platelet activation by α-PGG mimics antiplatelet actions of insulin.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0026238PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3206812PMC
March 2012

Insulin receptor signaling activated by penta-O-galloyl-α-D: -glucopyranose induces p53 and apoptosis in cancer cells.

Apoptosis 2011 Sep;16(9):902-13

Department of Biological Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, USA.

p53 is essential for cell cycle arrest and apoptosis induction while insulin receptor (IR) signaling is important for cell metabolism and proliferation and found upregulated in cancers. While IR has recently been found to be involved in apoptosis, p53 induction or apoptosis mediated through IR signaling activation has never been documented. Here, we report that the IR signaling pathway, particularly the IR-MEK pathway, mediates biological and biochemical changes in p53 and apoptosis in tumor cells. Specifically, natural compound penta-O-galloyl-α-D: -glucopyranose (α-PGG), a previously characterized IR signaling activator, induced apoptosis in RKO cells without significantly affecting its normal counterpart FHC cells. α-PGG induced apoptosis in RKO cells through p53, Bax and caspase 3. Importantly, α-PGG's ability to elevate p53 was diminished by IR inhibitor and IR-siRNA, suggesting a non-conventional role of IR as being involved in p53 induction. Further studies revealed that α-PGG activated MEK, a downstream signaling factor of IR. Blocking MEK significantly suppressed α-PGG-induced p53 and Bax elevation. All these results suggested that α-PGG induced p53, Bax, and apoptosis through the IR-MEK signaling pathway. The unique activity of α-PGG, a novel IR phosphorylation and apoptosis inducer, may offer a new therapeutic strategy for eliciting apoptotic signal and inhibiting cancer growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10495-011-0614-0DOI Listing
September 2011

Synthesis of cholestane saponins as mimics of OSW-1 and their cytotoxic activities.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2011 Jun 13;21(11):3257-60. Epub 2011 Apr 13.

Key Laboratory of Bioactivity Substance and Resources Utilization of Chinese Herbal Medicine, Ministry of Education, Institute of Materia Medica, Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking 100050, PR China.

To fulfill the structure-activity relationship (SAR) of OSW-1, and aim at finding the simplest structural part while maintaining most of the biological activities, six cholestane saponins were synthesized by introducing OSW-1 disaccharide (2-O-4-methoxybenzoyl-β-D-xylopyranosyl-(1→3)-2-O-acetyl-α-L-arabinopyranosyl) and its 1→4-linked analogue to the 7-hydroxy or 16-hydroxy of steroidal sapogenins. Cytotoxic activities of the products were tested. Compounds 1 and 3 exhibited potent cytotoxicities against five types of human tumor cells, with minimum IC(50) of 2.0 and 75 nM, respectively. And due to its high activity and easy accessibility compound 1 could be a potential candidate for new anti-tumor agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2011.04.030DOI Listing
June 2011

Synthesis of cholestane glycosides bearing OSW-1 disaccharide or its 1-->4-linked analogue and their antitumor activities.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2010 Sep 29;20(18):5439-42. Epub 2010 Jul 29.

Key Laboratory of Bioactivity Substance and Resources Utilization of Chinese Herbal Medicine, Ministry of Education, Institute of Materia Medica, Department of Pharmacology, Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking 100050, PR China.

For further structure-activity relationship (SAR) research of OSW saponins, a cholestane glycoside, namely 3beta, 16beta, 26-trihydroxycholest-5-en-22-one 16-O-(2-O-4-methoxybenzoyl-beta-D-xylopyranosyl)-(1-->3)-2-O-acetyl-alpha-L-arabinopyranoside (1) together with two 1-->4-linked disaccharide analogues (2 and 3) were synthesized. Their cytotoxic activities were evaluated by the standard MTT assay. Compound 1 showed potent cytotoxicity against five types of human tumor cells, with IC50 ranging between 1.3 and 73 nM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2010.07.085DOI Listing
September 2010

Small compound inhibitors of basal glucose transport inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis in cancer cells via glucose-deprivation-like mechanisms.

Cancer Lett 2010 Dec 1;298(2):176-85. Epub 2010 Aug 1.

Department of Biological Science, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA.

Cancer cells depend heavily on glucose as both energy and biosynthesis sources and are found to upregulate glucose transport and switch their main energy supply pathway from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis. These molecular and metabolic changes also provide targets for cancer treatment. Here we report that novel small molecules inhibited basal glucose transport and cell proliferation, and induced apoptosis in lung and breast cancer cells without affecting much their normal cell counterparts. Cancer cells survived the compound treatment lost their capability to proliferate. Mechanistic study indicates that the cancer cell inhibition by the test compounds has a component of apoptosis and the induced apoptosis was p53-independent and caspase 3-dependent, similar to those resulted from glucose deprivation. Compound treatment also led to cell cycle arrest in G1/S phase. The inhibition of cancer cell growth was partially relieved when additional glucose was supplied to cells, suggesting that the inhibition was due to, at least in part, the inhibition of basal glucose transport. When used in combination, the test compounds demonstrated synergistic effects with anticancer drugs cisplatin or paclitaxel in inhibition of cancer cell growth. All these results suggest that these glucose transport inhibitors mimic glucose deprivation and work through inhibiting basal glucose transport. These inhibitors have the potential to complement and replace traditional glucose deprivation, which cannot be used in animals, as new tools to study the effects of glucose transport and metabolism on cancer and normal cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canlet.2010.07.002DOI Listing
December 2010

Novel inhibitors of basal glucose transport as potential anticancer agents.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2010 Apr 11;20(7):2191-4. Epub 2010 Feb 11.

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA.

Cancer cells commonly show increased levels of glucose uptake and dependence. A potential strategy for the treatment of cancer may be the inhibition of basal glucose transport. We report here the synthesis of a small library of polyphenolic esters that inhibit basal glucose transport in H1299 lung and other cancer cells. These basal glucose transport inhibitors also inhibit cancer cell growth in H1299 cells, and these two activities appear to be correlated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2010.02.027DOI Listing
April 2010