Induction of S-phase arrest and p21 overexpression by a small molecule 2[[3-(2,3-dichlorophenoxy)propyl] amino]ethanol in correlation with activation of ERK

Oncogene. 2004 Jun 24;23(29):4984-92. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1207645.


We recently found that a small molecule 2[[3-(2,3-dichlorophenoxy)propyl]amino]ethanol (2,3-DCPE) could induce apoptosis and downregulate Bcl-XL expression in various cancer cells. Here, we found that 2,3-DCPE suppressed the proliferation of Bcl-XL-overexpressing cancer cells without inducing apoptosis. Subsequently, we found that 2,3-DCPE could induce S-phase arrest and upregulate p21 but not p27 at a time- and dose-dependent but p53-dispensable manner in DLD-1 human colon cancer cells. Activation of ERK was also detected after treatment with 2,3-DCPE. Moreover, p21 induction was dramatically attenuated by ERK inhibitors PD98059 and U0126. Induction of p21 and S-phase arrest and corresponding activation of ERK were also observed in ATM-defective cells, suggesting that 2,3-DCPE-induced these events were ATM-dispensable. Furthermore, ERK inhibitors dramatically attenuated 2,3-DCPE-induced S-phase arrest. Together, our data indicate that ERK activation correlated with the 2,3-DCPE-mediated induction of p21 expression and S-phase arrest. This finding may have implication for cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chlorobenzenes / pharmacology*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Cyclins / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Down-Regulation
  • Ethanolamines / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism
  • S Phase*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins


  • 2-((3-(2,3-dichlorophenoxy)propyl)amino)ethanol
  • CDKN1A protein, human
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chlorobenzenes
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Cyclins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ethanolamines
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • ATM protein, human
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases