Colorectal cancer is associated with aberrant activation of the Wnt pathway. β-Catenin plays essential roles in the Wnt pathway by interacting with T-cell factor 4 (TCF4) to transcribe oncogenes. We synthesized a small molecule, referred to as HI-B1, and evaluated signaling changes and biological consequences induced by the compound. HI-B1 inhibited β-catenin/TCF4 luciferase activity and preferentially caused apoptosis of cancer cells in which the survival is dependent on β-catenin. The formation of the β-catenin/TCF4 complex was disrupted by HI-B1 due to the direct interaction of HI-B1 with β-catenin. Colon cancer patient-derived xenograft (PDX) studies showed that a tumor with higher levels of β-catenin expression was more sensitive to HI-B1 treatment, compared to a tumor with lower expression levels of β-catenin. The different sensitivities of PDX tumors to HI-B1 were dependent on the β-catenin expression level and potentially could be further exploited for biomarker development and therapeutic applications against colon cancer.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The research was supported by The Hormel Foundation and National Institutes of Health ( R01-CA187027 ). S.H.S. was supported by a Bioinformatics and Computational Biology fellowship and a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the University of Minnesota.
© 2017 The Authors
- Colorectal cancer
- Patient-derived xenograft
- Precision medicine
- Small molecule inhibitor