A new class of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) agonists that inhibit growth of breast cancer cells: 1,1-Bis(3'-indolyl)-1-(p-substituted phenyl)methanes. Academic Article uri icon


  • 1,1-Bis(3'-indolyl)-1-(p-trifluoromethylphenyl)methane (DIM-C-pPhCF(3)) and several p-substituted phenyl analogues have been investigated as a new class of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) agonists. Structure-activity studies in PPARgamma-dependent transactivation assays in MCF-7 breast cancer cells show that 5-20 micro M concentrations of compounds containing p-trifluoromethyl, t-butyl, cyano, dimethylamino, and phenyl groups were active, whereas p-methyl, hydrogen, methoxy, hydroxyl, or halogen groups were inactive as PPARgamma agonists. Induction of PPARgamma-dependent transactivation by 15-deoxy-Delta12,14-prostaglandin J2 (PGJ2) and DIM-C-pPhCF(3) was inhibited in MCF-7 cells cotreated with the PPARgamma-specific antagonist N-(4'-aminopyridyl)-2-chloro-5-nitrobenzamide. In mammalian two-hybrid assays, DIM-C-pPhCF(3) and PGJ2 (5-20 micro M) induced interactions of PPARgamma with steroid receptor coactivator (SRC) 1, SRC2 (TIFII), and thyroid hormone receptor-associated protein 220 but not with SRC3 (AIB1). In contrast, DIM-C-pPhCF(3), but not PGJ2, induced interactions of PPARgamma with PPARgamma coactivator-1. C-substituted diindolylmethanes inhibit carcinogen-induced rat mammary tumor growth, induce differentiation in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes, inhibit MCF-7 cell growth and G(0)/G(1)-S phase progression, induce apoptosis, and down-regulate cyclin D1 protein and estrogen receptor alpha in breast cancer cells. These compounds are a novel class of synthetic PPARgamma agonists that induce responses in MCF-7 cells similar to those observed for PGJ2.

published proceedings

  • Mol Cancer Ther

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Qin, C., Morrow, D., Stewart, J., Spencer, K., Porter, W., Smith, R., ... Safe, S.

citation count

  • 78

complete list of authors

  • Qin, Chunhua||Morrow, Derek||Stewart, Jessica||Spencer, Kyle||Porter, Weston||Smith, Roger||Phillips, Timothy||Abdelrahim, Maen||Samudio, Ismael||Safe, Stephen

publication date

  • March 2004