Transmembrane protein TMEM16A, which encodes calcium-activated chloride channel has been implicated in tumorigenesis. Overexpression of TMEM16A is associated with poor prognosis and low overall survival in multiple cancers including lung adenocarcinoma, making it a promising biomarker and therapeutic target. In this study, three structure-related sesquiterpene lactones (mecheliolide, costunolide and dehydrocostus lactone) were extracted from the traditional Chinese medicine Aucklandiae Radix and identified as novel TMEM16A inhibitors with comparable inhibitory effects. Their effects on the proliferation and migration of lung adenocarcinoma cells were examined. Whole-cell patch clamp experiments showed that these sesquiterpene lactones potently inhibited recombinant TMEM16A currents in a concentration-dependent manner. The half-maximal concentration (IC50) values for three tested sesquiterpene lactones were 29.9 ± 1.1 μM, 19.7 ± 0.4 μM, and 24.5 ± 2.1 μM, while the maximal effect (Emax) values were 100.0% ± 2.8%, 85.8% ± 0.9%, and 88.3% ± 4.6%, respectively. These sesquiterpene lactones also significantly inhibited the endogenous TMEM16A currents and proliferation, and migration of LA795 lung cancer cells. These results demonstrate that mecheliolide, costunolide and dehydrocostus lactone are novel TMEM16A inhibitors and potential candidates for lung adenocarcinoma therapy.
Keywords: Adenocarcinoma of lung; Costunolide; Dehydrocostus lactone; Mecheliolide; TMEM16A.