Cholesterol Biosynthesis Inhibitor RO 48-8071 Suppresses Growth of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Cells in Vitro and In Vivo

Author(s): Yayun Liang, Kenneth P Nephew, Salman M Hyder

Introduction: Epithelial Ovarian Cancer (EOC) cells express enzymes in the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway, making this pathway an attractive therapeutic target for controlling ovarian cancer. Potent small molecule inhibitors of one biosynthetic enzyme, Oxidosqualene Cyclase (OSC), have been identified, and RO 48-8071 (4′-[6-(allylmethylamino)hexyloxy]-4- bromo-2′-fluorobenzophenone fumarate) (RO), has emerged as a useful chemotherapeutic agent for breast and prostate cancer.

Methods: Cell viability assays were performed to determine effects of RO 48-8071 on growth of EOC cells. Aldehyde Dehydrogenase (ALDH) assay was conducted to determine the effects of drug on reducing stem cell like properties of EOC cells. Finally, xenograft studies were performed to assess the ability of RO 48-8071 to inhibit the growth of EOC cells in vivo.

Results: We found that short-term (24-48 h) administration of pharmacological doses of RO effectively reduced the viability of drugresistant EOC cells (SK-OV-3 and OVCAR-3), as determined with sulforhodamine B colorimetric assays. In 7-day assays, nanomolar concentrations of RO effectively inhibited the growth of EOC cells. RO also suppressed ALDH activity, a marker of stem cells. Importantly, RO significantly suppressed growth of xenografts derived from EOC cells when given to mice intraperitoneally (20-40 mg kg-1 day-1) for 27 days once tumors reached 100 mm3 (controls: 336 + 60 mm3; treated: 171 + 20 mm3) with no toxicity to the experimental animals. Mechanistically, RO induced apoptosis in tumor cells in vivo as shown with immunohistochemistry.

Conclusion: Cholesterol biosynthesis inhibitor RO 48-8071 is thus a novel and potent inhibitor of human EOC, including EOC stem cells.

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