A novel steroidal inhibitor of estrogen-related receptor α (ERRα)


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Abstract

The orphan nuclear receptor estrogen-related receptor α (ERRα) has been implicated in the development of various human malignancies, including breast, prostate, ovary, and colon cancer. ERRα, bound to a co-activator protein (e.g., peroxisome proliferator receptor γ co-activator-1α, PGC-1α), regulates cellular energy metabolism by activating transcription of genes involved in various metabolic processes, such as mitochondrial genesis, oxidative phosphorylation, and fatty acid oxidation. Accumulating evidence suggests that ERRα is a novel target for solid tumor therapy, conceivably through effects on the regulation of tumor cell energy metabolism associated with energy stress within solid tumor microenvironments. This report describes a novel steroidal antiestrogen (SR16388) that binds selectively to ERRα, but not to ERRβ or ERRγ, as determined using a time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer assay. SR16388 potently inhibits ERRα's transcriptional activity in reporter gene assays, and prevents endogenous PGC-1α and ERRα from being recruited to the promoters or enhancers of target genes. Representative in vivo results show that SR16388 inhibited the growth of human prostate tumor xenografts in nude mice as a single agent at 30 mg/kg given once daily and 100 mg/kg given once weekly. In a combination study, SR16388 (10 mg/kg, once daily) and paclitaxel (7.5 mg/kg, twice weekly) inhibited the growth of prostate tumor xenografts in nude mice by 61% compared to untreated xenograft tumors. SR16388 also inhibited the proliferation of diverse human tumor cell lines after a 24-h exposure to the compound. SR16388 thus has utility both as an experimental antitumor agent and as a chemical probe of ERRα biology.

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