Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.537, 132-139, 2021
Discovery of a chemical compound that suppresses expression of BEX2, a dormant cancer stem cell-related protein
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are believed to cause cancer metastasis and recurrence. BEX2 (brain expressed X-linked gene 2) is a CSC-related gene that is expressed in dormant CSCs in cholangiocarcinoma and induces resistance against chemotherapy. The aim of the present study was to identify small compounds that have activity to inhibit BEX2 expression and result in the attenuation of CSC-related phenotypes. We screened 9600 small chemical compounds in high-throughput screening using cholangiocarcinoma cell line HuCCT1 expressing BEX2 protein fused with NanoLuc, and identified a compound, BMPP (1, 3-Benzenediol, [4-(4-methoxyphenyl)-1H-pyrazol-3-yl]). BMPP was found to exert decreasing effects on BEX2 protein expression and Go phase population of the tumor cells, and increasing effects on ATP levels and chemotherapeutic sensitivity of the cells. These findings indicate that BMPP is a valuable chemical compound for reducing dormant CSC-related phenotypes. Thus, the identification of BMPP as a potential CSC suppressor provides scope for the development of novel therapeutic modalities for the treatment of cancers with BEX2 over expressing CSCs. (C) 2020 Published by Elsevier Inc.