Nuclear Receptor 4A1 (NR4A1) as a Drug Target for Renal Cell Adenocarcinoma. Academic Article uri icon


  • The orphan nuclear receptor NR4A1 exhibits pro-oncogenic activity in cancer cell lines. NR4A1 activates mTOR signaling, regulates genes such as thioredoxin domain containing 5 and isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 that maintain low oxidative stress, and coactivates specificity protein 1 (Sp1)-regulated pro-survival and growth promoting genes. Transfection of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) ACHN and 786-O cells with oligonucleotides that target NR4A1 results in a 40-60% decrease in cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis. Moreover, knockdown of NR4A1 in RCC cells decreased bcl-2, survivin and epidermal growth factor receptor expression, inhibited of mTOR signaling, induced oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress, and decreased TXNDC5 and IDH1. We have recently demonstrated that selected 1,1-bis(3'-indolyl)-1-(p-substituted phenyl)methane (C-DIM) compounds including the p-hydroxyphenyl (DIM-C-pPhOH) and p-carboxymethyl (DIM-C-pPhCO2Me) analogs bind NR4A1 and act as antagonists. Both DIM-C-pPhOH and DIM-C-pPhCO2Me inhibited growth and induced apoptosis in ACHN and 786-O cells, and the functional and genomic effects of the NR4A1 antagonists were comparable to those observed after NR4A1 knockdown. These results indicate that NR4A1 antagonists target multiple growth promoting and pro-survival pathways in RCC cells and in tumors (xenograft) and represent a novel chemotherapy for treating RCC.

published proceedings

  • PLoS One

author list (cited authors)

  • Hedrick, E., Lee, S., Kim, G., Abdelrahim, M., Jin, U., Safe, S., & Abudayyeh, A.

citation count

  • 44

complete list of authors

  • Hedrick, Erik||Lee, Syng-Ook||Kim, Gyungeun||Abdelrahim, Maen||Jin, Un-Ho||Safe, Stephen||Abudayyeh, Ala

editor list (cited editors)

  • Datti, A.

publication date

  • June 2015