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The Potent G-Quadruplex-Binding Compound QN-302 Downregulates S100P Gene Expression in Cells and in an In Vivo Model of Pancreatic Cancer

Ahmed, Ahmed A; Greenhalf, William; Palmer, Daniel H; Williams, Nicole; Worthington, Jenny; Arshad, Tariq; Haider, Shozeb; ... Neidle, Stephen; + view all (2023) The Potent G-Quadruplex-Binding Compound QN-302 Downregulates S100P Gene Expression in Cells and in an In Vivo Model of Pancreatic Cancer. Molecules , 28 (6) , Article 2452. 10.3390/molecules28062452. Green open access

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Abstract

The naphthalene diimide compound QN-302, designed to bind to G-quadruplex DNA sequences within the promoter regions of cancer-related genes, has high anti-proliferative activity in pancreatic cancer cell lines and anti-tumor activity in several experimental models for the disease. We show here that QN-302 also causes downregulation of the expression of the S100P gene and the S100P protein in cells and in vivo. This protein is well established as being involved in key proliferation and motility pathways in several human cancers and has been identified as a potential biomarker in pancreatic cancer. The S100P gene contains 60 putative quadruplex-forming sequences, one of which is in the promoter region, 48 nucleotides upstream from the transcription start site. We report biophysical and molecular modeling studies showing that this sequence forms a highly stable G-quadruplex in vitro, which is further stabilized by QN-302. We also report transcriptome analyses showing that S100P expression is highly upregulated in tissues from human pancreatic cancer tumors, compared to normal pancreas material. The extent of upregulation is dependent on the degree of differentiation of tumor cells, with the most poorly differentiated, from more advanced disease, having the highest level of S100P expression. The experimental drug QN-302 is currently in pre-IND development (as of Q1 2023), and its ability to downregulate S100P protein expression supports a role for this protein as a marker of therapeutic response in pancreatic cancer. These results are also consistent with the hypothesis that the S100P promoter G-quadruplex is a potential therapeutic target in pancreatic cancer at the transcriptional level for QN-302.

Type: Article
Title: The Potent G-Quadruplex-Binding Compound QN-302 Downregulates S100P Gene Expression in Cells and in an In Vivo Model of Pancreatic Cancer
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/molecules28062452
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28062452
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/).
Keywords: pancreatic cancer; quadruplex; biophysics; S100P; transcriptome; MIA PaCa-2 xenograft; molecular modeling
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > Pharma and Bio Chemistry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10167756
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