The CREB-binding protein inhibitor ICG-001 suppresses pancreatic cancer growth

Michael D Arensman, Donatello Telesca, Anna R Lay, Kathleen M Kershaw, Nanping Wu, Timothy R Donahue, David W Dawson
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 2014, 13 (10): 2303-14
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a highly lethal cancer due in part to a lack of highly robust cytotoxic or molecular-based therapies. Recent studies investigating ligand-mediated Wnt/β-catenin signaling have highlighted its importance in pancreatic cancer initiation and progression, as well as its potential as a therapeutic target in PDAC. The small-molecule ICG-001 binds cAMP-responsive element binding (CREB)-binding protein (CBP) to disrupt its interaction with β-catenin and inhibit CBP function as a coactivator of Wnt/β-catenin-mediated transcription. Given its ability to inhibit Wnt/β-catenin-mediated transcription in vitro and in vivo, as well as its efficacy in preclinical models of colorectal cancer and other Wnt-driven diseases, we examined ICG-001 and its potential role as a therapeutic in PDAC. ICG-001 alone significantly inhibited anchorage-dependent and -independent growth of multiple PDAC lines, and augmented in vitro growth inhibition when used in combination with gemcitabine. ICG-001 had only variable modest effects on PDAC apoptosis and instead mediated PDAC growth inhibition primarily through robust induction of G₁ cell-cycle arrest. These effects, however, seemed decoupled from its inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin-mediated transcription. DNA microarrays performed on PDAC cells in the context of ICG-001 treatment revealed ICG-001 altered the expression of several genes with well-established roles in DNA replication and cell-cycle progression, including direct actions on SKP2 and CDKN1A. ICG-001 also significantly prolonged survival in an in vivo orthotopic xenograft model of PDAC, indicating ICG-001 or derived compounds that disrupt CBP activity are potentially useful small-molecule therapeutics for pancreatic cancer.

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