Background: Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) mediates the transcriptional response to hypoxic stress, promoting tumour progression and survival. This study investigated the acute effects of the small-molecule HIF-pathway inhibitor NSC-134754.
Methods: Human PC-3LN5 prostate cancer cells were treated with NSC-134754 for 24 h in hypoxia. Orthotopic prostate tumour-bearing mice were treated with a single dose of NSC-134754 for 6, 24 or 48 h. Treatment response was measured using magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging. Ex-vivo histological validation of imaging findings was also sought.
Results: In vitro, NSC-134754 significantly reduced lactate production and glucose uptake (P<0.05), while significantly increasing intracellular glucose (P<0.01) and glutamine uptake/metabolism (P<0.05). Increased glutamine metabolism was independent of c-Myc, a factor also downregulated by NSC-134754. In vivo, a significantly higher tumour apparent diffusion coefficient was determined 24 h post-treatment (P<0.05), with significantly higher tumour necrosis after 48 h (P<0.05). NSC-134754-treated tumours revealed lower expression of HIF-1α and glucose transporter-1, at 6 and 24 h respectively, while a transient increase in tumour hypoxia was observed after 24 h. Vessel perfusion/flow and vascular endothelial growth factor levels were unchanged with treatment.
Conclusion: NSC-134754 induces metabolic alterations in vitro and early anti-tumour activity in vivo, independent of changes in vascular function. Our data support the further evaluation of NSC-134754 as an anti-cancer agent.