1,1-Bis(3′-indolyl)-1-(p-substitutedphenyl)methanes Are Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ Agonists but Decrease HCT-116 Colon Cancer Cell Survival through Receptor-Independent Activation of Early Growth Response-1 and Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug-Activated Gene-1 Academic Article uri icon


  • 1,1-Bis-(3'-indolyl)-1-(p-substitutedphenyl)methanes containing p-trifluoromethyl (DIM-C-pPhCF3), p-t-butyl (DIM-C-pPhtBu), and phenyl (DIM-C-pPhC6H5) substituents decrease survival of HCT-116 colon cancer cells and activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) gamma in this and other cancer cell lines. These PPARgamma-active compounds had minimal effects on expression of cell cycle proteins and did not induce caveolin-1 in HCT-116 cells. However, these compounds induced nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene-1 (NAG-1) and apoptosis in HCT-116 cells, and in time-course studies, the PPARgamma agonists maximally induced early growth response-1 (Egr-1) protein within 2 h, whereas a longer time course was observed for induction of NAG-1 protein. These data, coupled with deletion and mutation analysis of both the Egr-1 and NAG-1 gene promoters, indicate that activation of NAG-1 by these compounds was dependent on prior induction of Egr-1, and induction of these responses was PPARgamma-independent. Results of kinase inhibitor studies also demonstrated that activation of Egr-1/NAG-1 by methylene-substituted diindolylmethanes (C-DIMs) was phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent, and this represents a novel receptor-independent pathway for C-DIM-induced growth inhibition and apoptosis in colon cancer cells.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Chintharlapalli, S., Papineni, S., Baek, S. J., Liu, S., & Safe, S.

citation count

  • 79

publication date

  • September 2005