Manipulation of the activity of the p53 tumor suppressor pathway has demonstrated potential benefit in preclinical mouse tumor models and has entered human clinical trials. We describe here an improved, extensive small-molecule chemical compound library screen for p53 pathway activation in a human cancer cell line devised to identify hits with potent antitumor activity. We uncover six novel small-molecule lead compounds, which activate p53 and repress the growth of human cancer cells. Two tested compounds suppress in vivo tumor growth in an orthotopic mouse model of human B-cell lymphoma. All compounds interact with DNA, and two activate p53 pathway in a DNA damage signaling-dependent manner. A further screen of a drug library of approved drugs for medicinal uses and analysis of gene-expression signatures of the novel compounds revealed similarities to known DNA intercalating and topoisomerase interfering agents and unexpected connectivities to known drugs without previously demonstrated anticancer activities. These included several neuroleptics, glycosides, antihistamines and adrenoreceptor antagonists. This unbiased screen pinpoints interference with the DNA topology as the predominant mean of pharmacological activation of the p53 pathway and identifies potential novel antitumor agents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)