TitleThe anti-cancer drug candidate CBL0137 induced necroptosis via forming left-handed Z-DNA and its binding protein ZBP1 in liver cells.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsLi J, Tang M, Ke R-X, Li P-L, Sheng Z-G, Zhu B-Z
JournalToxicol Appl Pharmacol
Date Published2024 Jan
KeywordsAntineoplastic Agents, Apoptosis, Carbazoles, Carrier Proteins, DNA, Z-Form, Humans, Liver Neoplasms, Necroptosis, Protein Kinases, Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases, Serine

CBL0137, a promising small molecular anti-cancer drug candidate, has been found to effectively induce apoptosis via activating p53 and suppressing nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB). However, it is still not clear whether CBL0137 can induce necroptosis in liver cancer; and if so, what is the underlying molecular mechanism. Here we found that CBL0137 could significantly induce left-handed double helix structure Z-DNA formation in HepG2 cells as shown by Z-DNA specific antibody assay, which was further confirmed by observing the expression of Z-DNA binding protein 1 (ZBP1) and adenosine deaminase acting on RNA 1 (ADAR1). Interestingly, we found that caspase inhibition significantly promoted CBL0137-induced necroptosis, which was further supported with the increase of the late apoptosis and necrosis assessed by the flow cytometry. Furthermore, we found that CBL0137 can also induce the expression of the three necroptosis-related proteins: receptor interacting serine/threonine kinase 1 (RIPK1), receptor interacting serine/threonine kinase 3 (RIPK3), and mixed lineage kinase domain-like (MLKL). Taken together, it was assumed that CBL0137-indued necroptosis in liver cells was due to induction of Z-DNA and ZBP1, which activated RIPK1/RIPK3/MLKL pathway. This represents the first report on the induction of the Z-DNA-mediated necroptosis by CBL0137 in the liver cancer cells, which should provide new perspectives for CBL0137 treatment of liver cancer.

Alternate JournalToxicol Appl Pharmacol
PubMed ID37995810