Tolfenamic acid inhibits esophageal cancer through repression of specificity proteins and c-Met. Academic Article uri icon


  • The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug tolfenamic acid (TA) inhibits proliferation of SEG-1 and BIC-1 esophageal cancer cells with half-maximal growth inhibitory concentration values of 36 and 48 muM, respectively. TA also increased Annexin V staining in both cell lines, indicative of proapoptotic activity. Treatment of SEG-1 and BIC-1 cells with TA for up to 72 h decreased expression of specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 and this was accompanied by decreased expression of the well-characterized Sp-regulated genes cyclin D1, vascular endothelial growth factor and survivin. TA also decreased hepatocyte growth factor receptor, (c-Met), a receptor tyrosine kinase that is overexpressed in esophageal cancer cells and tumors and is an important drug target. Knockdown of Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 by RNA interference in SEG-1 and BIC-1 cells also decreased c-Met expression, demonstrating that c-Met is an Sp-regulated gene in esophageal cancer cells. Sp1 was overexpressed in esophageal cancer cells and tumors and increased Sp1 staining was observed in esophageal tumors from patients. TA (20 mg/kg/day) also decreased tumor growth and weight in athymic nude mice bearing SEG-1 cells as xenografts and this was accompanied by increased apoptosis and decreased Sp1 and c-Met staining in tumors from treated mice. Thus, TA-dependent downregulation of Sp transcription factors and c-Met defines a novel chemotherapeutic approach for treatment of esophageal cancer.

published proceedings

  • Carcinogenesis

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Papineni, S., Chintharlapalli, S., Abdelrahim, M., Lee, S., Burghardt, R., Abudayyeh, A., ... Safe, S.

citation count

  • 68

complete list of authors

  • Papineni, Sabitha||Chintharlapalli, Sudhakar||Abdelrahim, Maen||Lee, Syng-ook||Burghardt, Robert||Abudayyeh, Ala||Baker, Cheryl||Herrera, Luis||Safe, Stephen

publication date

  • July 2009