1,1-Bis(3'-indolyl)-1-(p-substituted phenyl)methanes inhibit colon cancer cell and tumor growth through PPARgamma-dependent and PPARgamma-independent pathways. Academic Article uri icon


  • 1,1-Bis(3'-indolyl)-1-(p-substituted phenyl)methanes containing p-trifluoromethyl, t-butyl, and phenyl [1,1-bis(3'-indolyl)-1-(p-phenyl)methane (DIM-C-pPhC(6)H(5))] substituents induce peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma)-mediated transactivation in SW480 colon cancer cells. These PPARgamma-active compounds also inhibit cell proliferation and modulate some cell cycle proteins. At concentrations from 2.5 to 7.5 micromol/L, the PPARgamma agonists induce caveolin-1 and phosphorylation of Akt and cotreatment with the PPARgamma antagonist GW9662 inhibited the induction response. In contrast, higher concentrations (10 micromol/L) of 1,1-bis(3'-indolyl)-1-(p-substituted phenyl)methanes containing 1,1-bis(3'-indolyl)-1-(p-trifluoromethyl)methane and DIM-C-pPhC(6)H(5) induce apoptosis, which is PPARgamma independent. This was accompanied by loss of caveolin-1 induction but induction of proapoptotic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug activated gene-1. In athymic nude mice bearing SW480 cell xenografts, DIM-C-pPhC(6)H(5) inhibits tumor growth at doses of 20 and 40 mg/kg/d and immunohistochemical staining of the tumors showed induction of apoptosis and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug activated gene-1 expression. Thus, the indole-derived PPARgamma-active compounds induce both receptor-dependent and receptor-independent responses in SW480 cells, which are separable over a narrow range of concentrations. This dual mechanism of action enhances their antiproliferative and anticancer activities.

published proceedings

  • Mol Cancer Ther

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Chintharlapalli, S., Papineni, S., & Safe, S.

citation count

  • 49

complete list of authors

  • Chintharlapalli, Sudhakar||Papineni, Sabitha||Safe, Stephen

publication date

  • May 2006