APE1/Ref-1 redox-specific inhibition decreases survivin protein levels and induces cell cycle arrest in prostate cancer cells

David W. McIlwain, Melissa L. Fishel, Alexander Boos, Mark R. Kelley, Travis J. Jerde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


A key feature of prostate cancer progression is the induction and activation of survival proteins, including the Inhibitor of Apoptosis (IAP) family member survivin. Apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1/redox effector factor 1 (APE1/Ref-1) is a multifunctional protein that is essential in activating oncogenic transcription factors. Because APE1/Ref-1 is expressed and elevated in prostate cancer, we sought to characterize APE1/Ref-1 expression and activity in human prostate cancer cell lines and determine the effect of selective reduction-oxidation (redox) function inhibition on prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Due to the role of oncogenic transcriptional activators NFκB and STAT3 in survivin protein expression, and APE1/Ref-1 redox activity regulating their transcriptional activity, we assessed selective inhibition of APE1/Ref-1's redox function as a novel method to halt prostate cancer cell growth and survival. Our study demonstrates that survivin and APE1/Ref-1 are significantly higher in human prostate cancer specimens compared to noncancerous controls and that APE1/Ref-1 redox-specific inhibition with small molecule inhibitor, APX3330 and a second-generation inhibitor, APX2009, decreases prostate cancer cell proliferation and induces cell cycle arrest. Inhibition of APE1/Ref-1 redox function significantly reduced NFκB transcriptional activity, survivin mRNA and survivin protein levels. These data indicate that APE1/Ref-1 is a key regulator of survivin and a potentially viable target in prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10962-10977
Number of pages16
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2018


  • APE1/Ref-1
  • NFκB signaling
  • Prostate cancer
  • Redox regulation
  • Survivin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'APE1/Ref-1 redox-specific inhibition decreases survivin protein levels and induces cell cycle arrest in prostate cancer cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this