A tumoural angiogenic gateway blocker, Benzophenone-1B represses the HIF-1α nuclear translocation and its target gene activation against neoplastic progression

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Hypoxia is an important module in all solid tumours to promote angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis. Stabilization and subsequent nuclear localization of HIF-1α subunits result in the activation of tumour promoting target genes such as VEGF, MMPs, Flt-1, Ang-1 etc. which plays a pivotal role in adaptation of tumour cells to hypoxia. Increased HIF-α and its nuclear translocation have been correlated with pronounced angiogenesis, aggressive tumour growth and poor patient prognosis leading to current interest in HIF-1α as an anticancer drug target. Benzophenone-1B ([4-(1H-benzimidazol-2-ylmethoxy)-3,5-dimethylphenyl]-(4-methoxyphenyl) methanone, or BP-1B) is a new antineoplastic agent with potential angiopreventive effects. Current investigation reports the cellular biochemical modulation underlying BP-1B cytotoxic/antiangiogenic effects. Experimental evidences postulate that BP-1B exhibits the tumour specific cytotoxic actions against various cancer types with prolonged action. Moreover BP-1B efficiently counteracts endothelial cell capillary formation in in-vitro, in-vivo non-tumour and tumour angiogenic systems. Molecular signaling studies reveal that BP-1B arrests nuclear translocation of HIF-1α devoid of p42/44 pathway under CoCl2 induced hypoxic conditions in various cancer cells thereby leading to abrogated HIF-1α dependent activation of VEGF-A, Flt-1, MMP-2, MMP -9 and Ang-1 angiogenic factors resulting in retarded cell migration and invasions. The in-vitro results were reproducible in the reliable in-vivo solid tumour model. Taken together, we conclude that BP-1B impairs angiogenesis by blocking nuclear localization of HIF-1α which can be translated into a potent HIF-1α inhibitor.

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