Methylalpinumisoflavone inhibits hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) activation by simultaneously targeting multiple pathways

Yang Liu, Coothan K Veena, J Brian Morgan, Kaleem A Mohammed, Mika B Jekabsons, Dale G Nagle, Yu-Dong Zhou
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2009 February 27, 284 (9): 5859-68
Hypoxia is a common feature of solid tumors, and the extent of tumor hypoxia correlates with advanced disease stages and treatment resistance. The transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) represents an important tumor-selective molecular target for anticancer drug discovery directed at tumor hypoxia. A natural product chemistry-based approach was employed to discover small molecule inhibitors of HIF-1. Bioassay-guided isolation of an active lipid extract of the tropical legumaceous plant Lonchocarpus glabrescens and structure elucidation afforded two new HIF-1 inhibitors: alpinumisoflavone (compound 1) and 4'-O-methylalpinumisoflavone (compound 2). In human breast tumor T47D cells, compounds 1 and 2 inhibited hypoxia-induced HIF-1 activation with IC(50) values of 5 and 0.6 mum, respectively. At the concentrations that in hibited HIF-1 activation, compound 2 inhibited hypoxic induction of HIF-1 target genes (CDKN1A, GLUT-1, and VEGF), tumor angiogenesis in vitro, cell migration, and chemotaxis. Compound 2 inhibits HIF-1 activation by blocking the induction of nuclear HIF-1alpha protein, the oxygen-regulated subunit that controls HIF-1 activity. Mechanistic studies indicate that, unlike rotenone and other mitochondrial inhibitors, compound 2 represents the first small molecule that inhibits HIF-1 activation by simultaneously suppressing mitochondrial respiration and disrupting protein translation in vitro. This unique mechanism distinguishes compound 2 from other small molecule HIF-1 inhibitors that are simple mitochondrial inhibitors or flavanoid-based protein kinase inhibitors.

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