PTC-209 anti-cancer effects involved the inhibition of STAT3 phosphorylation

Shahrazad Sulaiman, Kholoud Arafat, Rabah Iratni, Samir Attoub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Lung, breast, and colorectal cancers are the leading causes of cancer-related deaths despite many therapeutic options, including targeted therapy and immunotherapies. Methods: Here, we investigated the impact of PTC-209, a small-molecule Bmi-1 inhibitor, on human cancer cell viability alone and in combination with anticancer drugs, namely, cisplatin, oxaliplatin, 5-fluorouracil, camptothecin, and Frondoside-A and its impact on cellular migration and colony growth in vitro and on tumor growth in ovo. Results: We demonstrate that PTC-209 causes a concentration- and time-dependent decrease in the cellular viability of lung cancer cells (LNM35 and A549), breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231 and T47D), and colon cancer cells (HT-29, HCT8/S11, and HCT-116). Similarly, treatment with PTC-209 significantly decreased the growth of LNM35, A549, MDA-MB-231, and HT-29 clones and colonies in vitro and LNM35 and A549 tumor growth in the in ovo tumor xenograft model. PTC-209 at the non-toxic concentrations significantly reduced the migration of lung (LNM35 and A549) and breast (MDA-MB-231) cancer cells. Moreover, we show that PTC-209, at a concentration of 1 μM, enhances the anti-cancer effects of Frondoside-A in lung, breast, and colon cancer cells, as well as the effect camptothecin in breast cancer cells and the effect of cisplatin in lung cancer cells in vitro. However, PTC-209 failed to enhance the anti-cancer effects of oxaliplatin and 5-fluorouracil in colon cancer cells. Treatment of lung, breast, and colon cancer cells with PTC-209 (1 and 2.5 μM) for 48 h showed no caspase-3 activation, but a decrease in the cell number below the seeding level suggests that PTC-209 reduces cellular viability probably through inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of cell death via a caspase-3–independent mechanism. Molecular mechanism analysis revealed that PTC-209 significantly inhibited the STAT3 phosphorylation by decreasing the expression level of gp130 as early as 30 min post-treatment. Conclusion: Our findings identify PTC-209 as a promising anticancer agent for the treatment of solid tumors either alone and/or in combination with the standard cytotoxic drugs cisplatin and camptothecin and the natural product Frondoside-A.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1199
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Bmi-1
  • Cisplatin
  • Frondoside-A
  • PTC-219
  • STAT3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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