The RET (REarranged during Transfection) proto-oncogene encodes a tyrosine-kinase receptor specifically expressed in tissues originated from neuroectodermal tissues. Dominant-activating mutations in this RET proto-oncogene is often associated with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 2A and 2B and Familial Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma syndromes, characterized by the occurrence of medullary thyroid carcinomas. Human medullary thyroid carcinoma cell line TT cell line harbours a MEN2A-type mutation, so this cell line could be a useful cell system to investigate the antitumor activity of new agents interfering with the function of RET oncogene in medually thyroid cancer. Recently, ellipticine and its derivatives were identified as excellent RET G-quadruplex stabilizing agents. Furthermore, these compounds also interfered with the transcriptional mechanism of the RET gene in TT cells, subsequently decreasing the endogenous RET protein expression. In present study, we demonstrated the specificity of NSC311152 by using papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) cells, the K1, which carry BRAF and PIK3CA mutations but lacks the dominant-activating mutations in this RET proto-oncogene. NSC311152 selectively suppresses cell proliferation by inhibiting the intracellular Raf/MEK/ERK and PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathways in the TT cells. The systemic administration of NSC311152 in a mouse MTC xenograft model significantly inhibited the tumor growth through RET downregulation, whereas NSC31152 only showed a moderate antitumor activity against K1 xenograft tumors.

Citation Format: Daekyu Sun, Vishnu Muthuraj Kumarasamy, Tariq Alqahtani. Selective antitumor activity of NSC311152 toward medullary thyroid cancer by downregulating the transcription of RET oncogene [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2018; 2018 Apr 14-18; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2018;78(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 4783.