The current anti-cancer treatments are not enough to eradicate tumors, and therefore, new modalities and strategies are still needed. Most tumors generate an inflammatory tumor microenvironment (TME) and maintain the niche for their development. Because of the critical role of inflammation via high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1)–receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) signaling pathway in the TME, a novel compound possessing both anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activities by suppressing the HMGB1-RAGE axis provides an effective strategy for cancer treatment. A recent work of our group found that some anti-cancer 3-styrylchromones have weak anti-inflammatory activities via the suppression of this axis. In this direction, we searched such anti-cancer molecules possessing potent anti-inflammatory activities and discovered 7-methoxy-3-hydroxy-styrylchromone (C6) having dual suppressive activities. Mechanism-of-action studies revealed that C6 inhibited the increased phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) under the stimulation of HMGB1-RAGE signaling and thereby suppressed cytokine production in macrophage-like RAW264.7 cells. On the other hand, in colorectal cancer HCT116 cells, C6 inhibited the activation of ERK1/2, cyclin-dependent kinase 1, and AKT, down-regulated the protein level of XIAP, and up-regulated pro-apoptotic Bax and caspase-3/7 expression. These alterations are suggested to be involved in the C6-induced suppression of cell cycle/proliferation and initiation of apoptosis in the cancer cells. More importantly, in cancer cells, the treatment of C6 potentiates the anti-cancer effects of DNA-damaging agents. Thus, C6 may be a promising lead for the generation of a novel class of cancer therapeutics.
- DNA damage
- Extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2
- High-mobility group box 1
- Receptor for advanced gly-cation end-products
- Tumor microenvironment