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

David W. McIlwain, Melissa Fishel, Alexander Boos, Mark Kelley, Travis 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 - Jan 1 2018



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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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