Cumulative exposure to solar ultraviolet (SUV) irradiation is regarded as the major etiologic factor in the development of skin cancer. The activation of the MAPK cascades occurs rapidly and is vital in the regulation of SUV-induced cellular responses. The T-LAK cell–originated protein kinase (TOPK), an upstream activator of MAPKs, is heavily involved in inflammation, DNA damage, and tumor development. However, the chemopreventive and therapeutic effects of specific TOPK inhibitors in SUV-induced skin cancer have not yet been elucidated. In the current study, ADA-07, a novel TOPK inhibitor, was synthesized and characterized. Pull-down assay results, ATP competition, and in vitro kinase assay data revealed that ADA-07 interacted with TOPK at the ATP-binding pocket and inhibited its kinase activity. Western blot analysis showed that ADA-07 suppressed SUV-induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2, p38, and JNKs and subsequently inhibited AP-1 activity. Importantly, topical treatment with ADA-07 dramatically attenuated tumor incidence, multiplicity, and volume in SKH-1 hairless mice exposed to chronic SUV. Our findings suggest that ADA-07 is a promising chemopreventive or potential therapeutic agent against SUV-induced skin carcinogenesis that acts by specifically targeting TOPK.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was funded by The Hormel Foundation and NIH grants CA027502, CA166011, CA187027, and CA196639 (to Z. Dong).