Thiocoraline alters neuroendocrine phenotype and activates the Notch pathway in MTC-TT cell line

Academic Article


  • Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is an aggressive neuroendocrine tumor (NET). Previous research has shown that activation of Notch signaling has a tumor suppressor role in NETs. The potential therapeutic effect of thiocoraline on the activation of the Notch pathway in an MTC cell line (TT) was investigated. Thiocoraline was isolated from a marine bacterium Verrucosispora sp. MTT assay (3-[4, 5-dimethylthiazole-2-yl]-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) was used to determine the IC50 value and to measure cell proliferation. Western blot revealed the expression of Notch isoforms, NET, and cell cycle markers. Cell cycle progression was validated by flow cytometry. The mRNA expression of Notch isoforms and downstream targets were measured using real-time PCR. The IC50 value for thiocoraline treatment in TT cells was determined to be 7.6 nmol/L. Thiocoraline treatment decreased cell proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The mechanism of growth inhibition was found to be cell cycle arrest in G1 phase. Thiocoraline activated the Notch pathway as demonstrated by the dose-dependent increase in mRNA and protein expression of Notch isoforms. Furthermore, treatment with thiocoraline resulted in changes in the expression of downstream targets of the Notch pathway (HES1, HES2, HES6, HEY1, and HEY2) and reduced expression of NET markers, CgA, and ASCL1. Thiocoraline is a potent Notch pathway activator and an inhibitor of MTC-TT cell proliferation at low nanomolar concentrations. These results provide exciting evidence for the use of thiocoraline as a potential treatment for intractable MTC. © 2013 The Authors.
  • Published In

  • Cancer Medicine  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Tesfazghi S; Eide J; Dammalapati A; Korlesky C; Wyche TP; Bugni TS; Chen H; Jaskula-Sztul R
  • Start Page

  • 734
  • End Page

  • 743
  • Volume

  • 2
  • Issue

  • 5