A hallmark of cancer cells is their ability to reprogram nutrient metabolism. Thus, disruption to this phenotype is a potential avenue for anti-cancer therapy. Herein we used a phenotypic chemical library screening approach to identify molecules that disrupted nutrient metabolism (by increasing cellular oxygen consumption rate) and were toxic to cancer cells. From this screen we discovered a 1,4-Naphthoquinone (referred to as BH10) that is toxic to a broad range of cancer cell types. BH10 has improved cancer-selective toxicity compared to doxorubicin, 17-AAG, vitamin K3, and other known anti-cancer quinones. BH10 increases glucose oxidation via both mitochondrial and pentose phosphate pathways, decreases glycolysis, lowers GSH:GSSG and NAPDH/NAPD+ ratios exclusively in cancer cells, and induces necrosis. BH10 targets mitochondrial redox defence as evidenced by increased mitochondrial peroxiredoxin 3 oxidation and decreased mitochondrial aconitase activity, without changes in markers of cytosolic or nuclear damage. Over-expression of mitochondria-targeted catalase protects cells from BH10-mediated toxicity, while the thioredoxin reductase inhibitor auranofin synergistically enhances BH10-induced peroxiredoxin 3 oxidation and cytotoxicity. Overall, BH10 represents a 1,4-Naphthoquinone with an improved cancer-selective cytotoxicity profile via its mitochondrial specificity.
Bibliographical noteCopyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.
- Cancer metabolism