Nagy, LI., Molnár, E., Kanizsai, I., Madácsi, R., Ózsvári, B., Fehér, LZ., Fábián, G., Marton, A., Vizler, C., Ayaydin, F., Kitajka, K., Hackler, L. Jr, Mátés, L., Deák, F., Kiss, I., and Puskás, LG.

BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most frequent and aggressive primary tumor of the liver and it has limited treatment options.

RESULTS: In this study, we report the in vitro and in vivo effects of two novel amino-trifluoro-phtalimide analogs, Ac-915 and Ac-2010. Both compounds bind lipid droplets and endoplasmic reticulum membrane, and interact with several proteins with chaperone functions (HSP60, HSP70, HSP90, and protein disulfide isomerase) as determined by affinity chromatography and resonant waveguide optical biosensor technology. Both compounds inhibited protein disulfide isomerase activity and induced cell death of different HCC cells at sub or low micromolar ranges detected by classical biochemical end-point assay as well as with real-time label-free measurements. Besides cell proliferation inhibition, analogs also inhibited cell migration even at 250 nM. Relative biodistribution of the analogs was analyzed in native tissue sections of different organs after administration of drugs, and by using fluorescent confocal microscopy based on the inherent blue fluorescence of the compounds. The analogs mainly accumulated in the liver. The effects of Ac-915 and Ac-2010 were also demonstrated on the advanced stages of hepatocarcinogenesis in a transgenic mouse model of N-nitrosodiethylamine (DEN)-induced HCC. Significantly less tumor development was found in the livers of the Ac-915- or Ac-2010-treated groups compared with control mice, characterized by less liver tumor incidence, fewer tumors and smaller tumor size.

CONCLUSION: These results imply that these amino-trifluoro-phthalimide analogs could serve potent clinical candidates against HCC alone or in combination with dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids.