Apogossypol derivative BI-97C1 (Sabutoclax) targeting Mcl-1 sensitizes prostate cancer cells to mda-7/IL-24-mediated toxicity

Rupesh Dash, Belal Azab, Bridget A. Quinn, Xuening Shen, Xiang Yang Wang, Swadesh K. Das, Mohamed Rahmani, Jun Wei, Michael Hedvat, Paul Dent, Igor P. Dmitriev, David T. Curiel, Steven Grant, Bainan Wu, John L. Stebbins, Maurizio Pellecchia, John C. Reed, Devanand Sarkar, Paul B. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Limited options are available for treating patients with advanced prostate cancer (PC). Melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/ interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24), an IL-10 family cytokine, exhibits pleiotropic anticancer activities without adversely affecting normal cells. We previously demonstrated that suppression of the prosurvival Bcl-2 family member, myeloid cell leukemia-1 (Mcl-1), is required for mda-7/IL-24-mediated apoptosis of prostate carcinomas. Here we demonstrate that pharmacological inhibition of Mcl-1 expression with the unique Apogossypol derivative BI-97C1, also called Sabutoclax, is sufficient to sensitize prostate tumors to mda-7/IL-24-induced apoptosis, whereas ABT-737, which lacks efficacy in inhibiting Mcl-1, does not sensitize mda-7/IL-24-mediated cytotoxicity. A combination regimen of tropism-modified adenovirus delivered mda-7/IL-24 (Ad.5/3-mda-7) and BI-97C1 enhances cytotoxicity in human PC cells, including those resistant to mda-7/IL-24 or BI-97C1 alone. The combination regimen causes autophagy that facilitates NOXA- and Bim-induced and Bak/Bax-mediated mitochondrial apoptosis. Treatment with Ad.5/3-mda-7 and BI-97C1 significantly inhibits the growth of human PC xenografts in nude mice and spontaneously induced PC in Hi-myc transgenic mice. Tumor growth inhibition correlated with increased TUNEL staining and decreased Ki-67 expression in both PC xenografts and prostates of Hi-myc mice. These findings demonstrate that pharmacological inhibition of Mcl-1 with the Apogossypol derivative, BI-97C1, sensitizes human PCs to mda-7/IL-24-mediated cytotoxicity, thus potentially augmenting the therapeutic benefit of this combinatorial approach toward PC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8785-8790
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 24 2011


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