Research Project 3 - Synthesis and Evaluation of DIM-like Analogues Targeting PI3K/Akt Pathway: John Cooperwood, Carl B. Goodman and Hernan A. Flores-Rozas: Recent surveys have shown that African-American women develop highly aggressive breast tumors and experience about three-time higher mortality rates in comparison with other populations. Most African-American women have estrogen receptor negative (ER-), progesterone receptor negative (PR-) and human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 negative (HER-2-) tumors. Current Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved breast cancer therapies are geared toward the treatment of estrogen positive (ER+) breast tumors, which include Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) and Aromatase inhibitors. Both SERMs and aromatase inhibitors serve to alleviate the estrogen effect upon the progression of ER+ breast cancers. Nevertheless, there is a lack of treatment for triple negative (ER-, PR- and HER-2- ) breast cancer which overwhelmingly affects African-American women. This proposal's emphasis is directed toward a natural occurring potential chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agent, indole-3-carbinol, which has been found to display both preventive and therapeutic anti-breast cancer activities in various studies, lndole-3-carbinol is a product found in cruciferous vegetables, and it is being marketed in health food stores as a dietary supplement. The key metabolite of lndole-3-carbinol is its acid form which is converted to other intermediates, such as 3, 3'dlindolylmethane (DIM). Our hypothesis is that DIM induces apoptosis by the inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/serine-threonine kinase (Akt,) signaling pathway by antagonism at active site which is involved the stimulation of triple negative breast cancer growth by estradiol. This hypothesis has been substantiated by preliminary molecular modeling studies which indicate that there is similarity between the chemical structures of DIM analogues and estradiol. We will validate our hypothesis by the following specific aims: 1. Synthesis of hydroxlyated, benzofuran and benzothiophene DIM analogues. 2. Anti-proliferation Studies using MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-435 and MDA-MB-435 estrogen receptor triple negative breast cancer cell lines, and Inhibition of Akt signal pathway using Immunoblot analysis, 3. Computational Studies for optimization of breast cancer growth inhibitory activity.

Public Health Relevance

Our ultimate goal is to develop chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of estrogen non responsive breast cancer patients because of the tremendous need. We hope to develop dmgs with enhanced efficiency by looking at analogs of a natural product which shows some activity against this particular type of breast cancer.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
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