High frequency of KRAS and TP53 mutations is a unique genetic feature of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). TP53 mutation not only renders PDAC resistance to chemotherapies but also drives PDAC invasiveness. Therapies targeting activating mutant KRAS are not available and the outcomes of current PDAC treatment are extremely poor. Here, we report that MMRi62, initially identified as an MDM2-MDM4–targeting small molecule with p53-independent pro-apoptotic activity, shows anti-PDAC activity in vitro and in vivo. We show that MMRi62 inhibits proliferation, clonogenic, and spheroid growth of PDAC cells by induction of cell death. MMRi62-induced cell death in PDAC is characteristic of ferroptosis that is associated with increased autophagy, increased reactive oxygen species, and lysosomal degradation of NCOA4 and ferritin heavy chain (FTH1). In addition to induced degradation of FTH1, MMRi62 also induces proteasomal degradation of mutant p53. Interestingly, MMRi62-induced ferroptosis occurs in PDAC cell lines harboring either KRAS and TP53 double mutations or single TP53 mutation. In orthotopic xenograft PDAC mouse models, MMRi62 was capable of inhibiting tumor growth in mice associated with downregulation of NCOA4 and mutant p53 in vivo. Strikingly, MMRi62 completely abrogated metastasis of orthotopic tumors to distant organs, which is consistent with MMRi62's ability to inhibit cell migration and invasion in vitro. These findings identified MMRi62 as a novel ferroptosis inducer capable of suppressing PDAC growth and overcoming metastasis.

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