Rabdosianone I, a Bitter Diterpene from an Oriental Herb, Suppresses Thymidylate Synthase Expression by Directly Binding to ANT2 and PHB2

Cancers (Basel). 2021 Feb 26;13(5):982. doi: 10.3390/cancers13050982.


Natural products have numerous bioactivities and are expected to be a resource for potent drugs. However, their direct targets in cells often remain unclear. We found that rabdosianone I, which is a bitter diterpene from an oriental herb for longevity, Isodon japonicus Hara, markedly inhibited the growth of human colorectal cancer cells by downregulating the expression of thymidylate synthase (TS). Next, using rabdosianone I-immobilized nano-magnetic beads, we identified two mitochondrial inner membrane proteins, adenine nucleotide translocase 2 (ANT2) and prohibitin 2 (PHB2), as direct targets of rabdosianone I. Consistent with the action of rabdosianone I, the depletion of ANT2 or PHB2 reduced TS expression in a different manner. The knockdown of ANT2 or PHB2 promoted proteasomal degradation of TS protein, whereas that of not ANT2 but PHB2 reduced TS mRNA levels. Thus, our study reveals the ANT2- and PHB2-mediated pleiotropic regulation of TS expression and demonstrates the possibility of rabdosianone I as a lead compound of TS suppressor.

Keywords: adenine nucleotide translocase 2; chemical biology; natural products; prohibitin 2; rabdosianone I; thymidylate synthase.