Novel Oral Derivative UD-017, a Highly Selective CDK7 Inhibitor, Exhibits Anticancer Activity by Inducing Cell-Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis in Human Colorectal Cancer
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Objective: This study aimed to investigate the anticancer profile of a new cyclin-dependent kinase 7 (CDK7) inhibitor, UD-017, by examining its mechanism of action using HCT-116 colorectal cancer cells.
Methods: The anticancer properties of UD-017 were assessed using several assays, including in vitro kinase, proliferation, and apoptosis assays, western blot analysis, and an in vivo xenograft mouse model.
Results: UD-017 significantly inhibited CDK7 activity (IC50 = 16 nM) with high selectivity in an in vitro kinase assay testing a panel of over 300 proteins and lipid kinases. UD-017 also inhibited the growth of HCT-116 cells (GI50 = 19 nM) and inhibited the phosphorylation of various downstream mediators of CDK7 signaling. In cell cycle and apoptosis assays using HCT-116 cells, UD-017 increased the number of cells in both G1 and G2/M phases and induced apoptosis. In vivo, UD-017 inhibited tumor growth in an HCT-116 xenograft mouse model by 33%, 64%, and 88% at doses of 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg, respectively, with clear dose-dependency. Co-administration of 5-FU and 50 mg/kg UD-017 had a strong synergistic effect, as reflected in the complete inhibition of tumor growth.
Conclusion: CDK7 may play a major role in colorectal cancer growth by regulating the cell cycle and apoptosis. UD-017 is a promising candidate therapeutic agent for the treatment of cancer involving CDK7 signaling.
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