We have previously demonstrated the ability of I-Trp to disrupt the protein-protein interaction of β-tubulin with chaperonin-containing TCP-1β (CCT-β). This caused more severe apoptosis in multidrug-resistant MES-SA/Dx5, compared to MES-SA, due to its higher CCT-β overexpression. In this study, we screened a panel of cancer cell lines, finding CCT-β overexpression in the triple-negative breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231, colorectal cancer cell lines Colo205 and HCT116, and a gastric cancer cell line MKN-45. Thus, I-Trp killed these cancers with sub-to low-μM EC"5"0, whereas it was non-toxic to MCF-10A. We then synthesized analogs of I-Trp and evaluated their cytotoxicity. Furthermore, apoptotic mechanism investigations revealed the activation of both protein ubiquitination/degradation and ER-associated protein degradation pathways. These pathways proceeded through activation of MAPKs at the onset of CCT-β: β-tubulin complex disruption. We thus establish an effective strategy to treat CCT-β overexpressed cancers by disrupting the CCT-β: β-tubulin complex.
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