3,3′-Diindolylmethane (DIM), ring-substituted DIMs and 1,1-bis(3′-indolyl)-1-(p-substitutedphenyl)methanes (C-DIMs) inhibit growth of Panc-1 and Panc-28 pancreatic cancer cells. Although DIMs (diarylmethanes) and selected C-DIMs (triarylmethanes), such as the p-t-butyl derivative (DIM-C-pPhtBu), activate the aryl hydrocarbon receptor and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ, respectively, this study shows that both DIM and DIM-C-pPhtBu induce common receptor-independent pathways. Both DIM and DIM-C-pPhtBu increased endoplasmic reticulum (ER) staining and ER calcium release in Panc-1 cells, and this was accompanied by increased expression of glucose related protein 78 and C/EBP homologous transcription factor (CHOP/GADD153) proteins. Similar results were observed after treatment with thapsigargin (Tg), a prototypical inducer of ER stress. The subsequent downstream effects of DIM/DIM-C-pPhtBu- and Tg-induced ER stress included CHOP-dependent induction of death receptor DR5 and subsequent cleavage of caspase 8, caspase 3, Bid and PARP. Activation of both receptor-dependent and receptor-independent (ER stress) pathways by DIM and DIM-C-pPhtBu in pancreatic cancer cells enhances the efficacy and potential clinical importance of these compounds for cancer chemotherapeutic applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research