Anti-cancer effect of a quinoxaline derivative GK13 as a transglutaminase 2 inhibitor

Seon Hyeong Lee, Nayeon Kim, Se Jin Kim, Jaewhan Song, Young Dae Gong, Soo Youl Kim

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45 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Transglutaminase 2 (TGase 2), a cross-linking enzyme, plays an important role in both pro-survival and anti-apoptosis during oncogenesis. For instance, TGase 2 induces NF-κB activation through I-κBα polymerization, which leads to the increase of pro-survival factors such as BCl-2. TGase 2 also suppresses apoptosis via depletion of caspase 3 and cathepsin D. Therefore, a specific TGase 2 inhibitor may become a very useful treatment for cancer showing high levels of TGase 2 expression. Methods: By small-molecule library screening, we managed to locate a competitive TGase 2 inhibiting quinoxaline compound (GK13) from 50 other quinoxaline derivatives. The 50 compounds that were screened represent a thousand structurally diverse, potentially pharmaceutical heterocyclic compound libraries, including benzopyrans, oxadiazoles, thiadiazoles, and quinoxalines. By measuring GI50, TGI, and LC50 using SRB assay, GK13 was selected. Results: In vitro enzyme kinetics using guinea pig liver TGase 2 showed that IC50 value was about 16.4 E-6 M. GK13 inhibits TGase 2-mediated I-κBα polymerization in a dose-dependent manner. LC50 of GK13 showed greater efficacy as 4.3E-4 M than LC50 of doxorubicin that showed efficacy as 3.87E-3 M in NCC72 composing 11 tissue origins and 72 cancer cell lines. Conclusion: GK13 showed a possibility that quinoxaline derivatives may be effective for anti-cancer activity via TGase 2 inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1279-1294
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of cancer research and clinical oncology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported by a research grant (NCC1110011-2) from the National Cancer Center in Korea to S.Y.K. and National R&D Program for Cancer Control (No. 1020050) in Korea to Y.D.G. We declare that none of the authors have a financial interest related to this work, and none of the authors have any financial support beyond the research grant mentioned above.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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