Inauhzin and Nutlin3 synergistically activate p53 and suppress tumor growth

Yiwei Zhang, Qi Zhang, Shelya X. Zeng, Yu Zhang, Lindsey D. Mayo, Hua Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Several proteins have been suggested in promoting tumor formation in numerous human tissues by inactivating the tumor suppressor p53. This has generated interest in the development of small molecules to block these inhibitors of p53 and to regain p53 activity. Recently, we identified a small molecule, Inauhzin, which can inhibit SIRT1 activity and activate p53. SIRT1 is a deacetylase that deacetylates p53 and facilitates Mdm2 mediated p53 destabilization. In this study, we tested if combining Inauhzin with Nutlin-3, an inhibitor of MDM2-p53 binding, might synergistically activate p53 to suppress tumor growth. Indeed, at lower doses, combination of Inauhzin and Nutlin-3 exhibited a synergistic effect on inhibiting cell growth and promoting apoptosis in human colon and lung cancer cell lines in a p53-dependent fashion. Minimal effects were observed with treatment of either compound alone. Using a xenograft tumor model, we also showed a synergistic effect with both compounds. Thus, to fully regain p53 activity, targeting its multiple inhibitory proteins might be a better approach. Our study provides evidence supporting this concept for achieving better therapeutic efficacy in tumors that possess wild type p53.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)915-924
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Biology and Therapy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012


  • Acetylation
  • Apoptosis
  • Deacetylation
  • Inauhzin
  • MDM2
  • Nutlin-3
  • p53
  • Small molecule inhibitor
  • Xenograft tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Inauhzin and Nutlin3 synergistically activate p53 and suppress tumor growth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this