1,1-Bis(3′-indolyl)-1-(p-substitutedphenyl)methanes induce apoptosis and inhibit renal cell carcinoma growth

Melissa York, Maen Abdelrahim, Sudhakar Chintharlapalli, Salina D. Lucero, Stephen Safe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Purpose: 1,1-Bis(3′-indolyl)-1-(p-substitutedphenyl)methanes [methylene-substituted diindolylmethanes (C-DIM)] containing p-trifluoromethyl, p-t-butyl, and p-phenyl substituents activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) and inhibit growth of several different cancer cell lines through receptor-dependent and receptor-independent pathways. The purpose of this study is to investigate the anticancer activity of these compounds in renal cell carcinoma. Experimental Design:The anticancer activity of the p-t-butyl-substituted C-DIM compound (DIM-C-pPhtBu) was investigated in ACHN and 786-0 renal cell carcinoma cell lines and in an orthotopic model for renal carcinogenesis using ACHN cells injected directly into the kidney. Results: PPARγ is overexpressed in ACHN cells and barely detectable in 786-0 cells, and treatment with DIM-C-pPhtBu induces proteasome-dependent degradation of cyclin D1 and variable effects on p21 and p27 expression in both cell lines. DIM-C-pPhtBu also induced several common proapoptotic responses in ACHN and 786-0 cells, including increased expression of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene-1and endoplasmic reticulumstress,which activates death receptor 5 and the extrinsic pathway of apoptosis. Activation of these responses was PPARγ independent. In addition, DIM-C-pPhtBu (40 mg/kg/d) also inhibited tumor growth in an orthotopic mouse model for renal carcinogenesis, and this was accompanied by induction of apoptosis in renal tumors treated with DIM-C-pPhtBu but not in tumors treated with the corn oil vehicle (control). Conclusions: DIM-C-pPhtBu and related compounds are cytotoxic to renal cancer cells and activate multiple proapoptotic and growth-inhibitory pathways. The results coupled with in vivo anticancer activity show the potential of DIM-C-pPhtBu and related C-DIMs for clinical treatment of renal adenocarcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6743-6752
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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