Preclinical evaluation of discorhabdins in antiangiogenic and antitumor models

Emily M. Harris, Jonathan D. Strope, Shaunna L. Beedie, Phoebe A. Huang, Andrew K.L. Goey, Kristina M. Cook, Christopher J. Schofield, Cindy H. Chau, Melissa M. Cadelis, Brent R. Copp, Kirk R. Gustafson, William D. Figg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Elements of the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) transcriptional system, a key regulator of the cellular hypoxic response, are up-regulated in a range of cancer cells. HIF is fundamentally involved in tumor angiogenesis, invasion, and energy metabolism. Inhibition of the transcriptional activity of HIF may be of therapeutic benefit to cancer patients. We recently described the identification of two marine pyrroloiminoquinone alkaloids with potent activity in inhibiting the interaction between the oncogenic transcription factor HIF-1α and the coactivator protein p300. Herein, we present further characterization data for these two screening hits: discorhabdin H (1) and discorhabdin L (2), with a specific focus on their anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor effects. We demonstrated that only discorhabdin L (2) possesses excellent anti-angiogenic activity in inhibiting endothelial cell proliferation and tube formation, as well as decreasing microvessel outgrowth in the ex vivo rat aortic ring assay. We further showed that discorhabdin L (2) significantly inhibits in vivo prostate tumor growth in a LNCaP xenograft model. In conclusion, our findings suggest that discorhabdin L (2) represents a promising HIF-1α inhibitor worthy of further drug development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number241
JournalMarine Drugs
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkaloids
  • Angiogenesis
  • Discorhabdins
  • HIF
  • Hypoxia
  • Marine natural products


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