Miclxin, a Novel MIC60 Inhibitor, Induces Apoptosis via Mitochondrial Stress in β-Catenin Mutant Tumor Cells

ACS Chem Biol. 2020 Aug 21;15(8):2195-2204. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.0c00381. Epub 2020 Jul 10.


The Wnt signaling pathway regulates diverse cellular processes. β-Catenin is one of the major components of this pathway, in which it plays a main role. Although it has been established that β-catenin is mutated in a wide variety of tumors, there are currently no effective therapeutic agents that target β-catenin. In this study, we searched for the compound that targets mutant β-catenin and found DS37262926 (miclxin). Miclxin exhibited β-catenin-dependent apoptosis in β-catenin-mutated HCT116 cells and isogenic HCT116 (CTNNB1 Δ45/-) cells; however, this effect was not observed in isogenic HCT116 (CTNNB1 +/-) cells. Using miclxin-immobilized beads, MIC60, one of the major components of the mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system (MICOS) complex, was identified as a target protein of miclxin. We revealed that MIC60 dysfunction caused by miclxin induced a mitochondrial stress response in a mutant β-catenin-dependent manner. Activation of the mitochondrial stress response was responsible for the downregulation of Bcl-2, leading to severe loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and subsequent apoptosis-inducing factor-dependent apoptosis. Our findings suggest that targeting MIC60 is a potential strategy with which tumor cells can be killed through induction of severe mitochondrial damage in a mutant β-catenin-dependent manner.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis*
  • HCT116 Cells
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Stress, Physiological*
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway
  • beta Catenin / metabolism*


  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins
  • beta Catenin