Dehydroabietic oximes halt pancreatic cancer cell growth in the G1 phase through induction of p27 and downregulation of cyclin D1

Laura E. Kolsi, Ana S. Leal, Jari Yli-Kauhaluoma, Karen T. Liby, Vania M. Moreira

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Low 5-year survival rates, increasing incidence, as well as the specific challenges of targeting pancreatic cancer, clearly support an urgent need for new multifunctional drugs for the prevention and treatment of this fatal disease. Natural products, such as abietane-type diterpenoids, are widely studied as promiscuous anticancer agents. In this study, dehydroabietic oximes were identified as potential compounds to target pancreatic cancer and cancer-related inflammation. The compounds inhibited the growth of human pancreatic cancer Aspc-1 cells with IC 50 values in the low micromolar range and showed anti- inflammatory activity, measured as the inhibition of nitric oxide production, an important inflammatory mediator in the tumour microen vironment. Further studies revealed that the compounds were able to induce cancer cell differentiation and concomitantly downregulate cyclin D1 expression with upregulation of p27 levels, consistent with cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase. Moreover, a kinase profiling study showed that one of the compounds has isoform-selective, however modest, inhibitory activity on RSK2, an AGC kinase that has been implicated in cellular invasion and metastasis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15923
Number of pages13
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2018


  • pancreatic cancer
  • anticancer agents
  • dehydroabietic oximes

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