Discovery of an Orally Efficacious MYC Inhibitor for Liver Cancer Using a GNMT-Based High-Throughput Screening System and Structure-Activity Relationship Analysis.
Glycine-N-methyl transferase (GNMT) downregulation results in spontaneous hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Overexpression of GNMT inhibits the proliferation of liver cancer cell lines and prevents carcinogen-induced HCC, suggesting that GNMT induction is a potential approach for anti-HCC therapy. Herein, we used Huh7 GNMT promoter-driven screening to identify a GNMT inducer. Compound K78 was identified and validated for its induction of GNMT and inhibition of Huh7 cell growth. Subsequently, we employed structure–activity relationship analysis and found a potent GNMT inducer, K117. K117 inhibited Huh7 cell growth in vitro and xenograft in vivo. Oral administration of a dosage of K117 at 10 mpk (milligrams per kilogram) can inhibit Huh7 xenograft in a manner equivalent to the effect of sorafenib at a dosage of 25 mpk. A mechanistic study revealed that K117 is an MYC inhibitor. Ectopic expression of MYC using CMV promoter blocked K117-mediated MYC inhibition and GNMT induction. Overall, K117 is a potential lead compound for HCC- and MYC-dependent cancers.[Link to the article...]