Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) display promising antineoplastic activity, but toxicity resulting from cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibition limits their clinical use for chemoprevention. Studies suggest that the mechanism may be COX independent, although alternative targets have not been well defined. Here, we show that the NSAID sulindac sulfide (SS) inhibits cyclic guanosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (cGMP) phosphodiesterase (PDE) activity in colon tumor cell lysates at concentrations that inhibit colon tumor cell growth in vitro and in vivo. A series of chemically diverse NSAIDs also inhibited cGMP hydrolysis at concentrations that correlate with their potency to inhibit colon tumor cell growth, whereas no correlation was observed with COX-2 inhibition. Consistent with its selectivity for inhibiting cGMP hydrolysis compared with cyclic AMP hydrolysis, SS inhibited the cGMP-specific PDE5 isozyme and increased cGMP levels in colon tumor cells. Of numerous PDE isozyme-specific inhibitors evaluated, only the PDE5-selective inhibitor MY5445 inhibited colon tumor cell growth. The effects of SS and MY5445 on cell growth were associated with inhibition of β-catenin-mediated transcriptional activity to suppress the synthesis of cyclin D and survivin, which regulate tumor cell proliferation and apoptosis, respectively. SS had minimal effects on cGMP PDE activity in normal colonocytes, which displayed reduced sensitivity to SS and did not express PDE5. PDE5 was found to be overexpressed in colon tumor cell lines as well as in colon adenomas and adenocarcinomas compared with normal colonic mucosa. These results suggest that PDE5 inhibition, cGMP elevation, and inhibition of β-catenin transcriptional activity may contribute to the chemopreventive properties of certain NSAIDs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research