Indoprofen upregulates the survival motor neuron protein through a cyclooxygenase-independent mechanism

Mitchell R. Lunn, David E. Root, Allison M. Martino, Stephen P. Flaherty, Brian P. Kelley, Daniel D. Coovert, Arthur H. Burghes, Nguyen Thi Man, Glenn E. Morris, Jianhua Zhou, Elliot J. Androphy, Charlotte J. Sumner, Brent R. Stockwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Most patients with the pediatric neurodegenerative disease spinal muscular atrophy have a homozygous deletion of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, but retain one or more copies of the closely related SMN2 gene. The SMN2 gene encodes the same protein (SMN) but produces it at a low efficiency compared with the SMN1 gene. We performed a high-throughput screen of ∼47,000 compounds to identify those that increase production of an SMN2-luciferase reporter protein, but not an SMN1-luciferase reporter protein. Indoprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor, selectively increased SMN2-luciferase reporter protein and endogenous SMN protein and caused a 5-fold increase in the number of nuclear gems in fibroblasts from SMA patients. No other NSAIDs or COX inhibitors tested exhibited this activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1489-1493
Number of pages5
JournalChemistry and Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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