A new indole-3-carbinol tetrameric derivative inhibits cyclin-dependent kinase 6 expression, and induces G1 cell cycle arrest in both estrogen-dependent and estrogen-independent breast cancer cell lines

Giorgio Brandi, Mirko Paiardini, Barbara Cervasi, Chiara Fiorucci, Paolino Filippone, Cinzia De Marco, Nadia Zaffaroni, Mauro Magnani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Indole-3-carbinol (I3C), autolysis product of glucosinolates present in cruciferous vegetables, has been indicated as a promising agent in preventing the development and progression of breast cancer. I3C has been shown to inhibit the growth of human cancer cells in vitro and possesses anticarcinogenic activity in vivo. Because I3C is unstable and may be converted into many polymeric products in the digestive tract, it is not yet clear whether the biological activity observed can be attributed to I3C or some of its polymeric products. In this study we synthesized a stable I3C cyclic tetrameric derivative and investigated its effects on a panel of human breast cancer cell lines. The I3C tetramer suppressed the growth of both estrogen receptor (ER) -positive (MCF-7, 734B, and BT474) and ER-negative (BT20, MDA-MB-231, and BT539) human breast cancer cell lines, and it was found to induce G1 cell cycle arrest in a dose-dependent manner without evidence of apoptosis, suggesting a growth arrest via a cytostatic mechanism. At the molecular level, the tetramer inhibited cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 6 expression and activity, induced an increase in the level of p27kip1, and reduced the level of retinoblastoma protein expression. Contrarily to CDK6, the level of CDK4, the other kinase involved in the G1 phase of the cell cycle, remains unchanged. Interestingly, the tetramer resulted about five times more active than I3C in suppressing the growth of human breast cancer cells. On the whole, our data suggest that the I3C tetrameric derivative is a novel lead inhibitor of breast cancer cell growth that may be a considered a new, promising therapeutic agent for both ER+ and ER- breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4028-4036
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Research
Volume63
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2003

    Fingerprint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this