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Open AccessArticle

Treatment with a New Barbituric Acid Derivative Exerts Antiproliferative and Antimigratory Effects against Sorafenib Resistance in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

School of Medical Laboratory Science and Biotechnology, College of Medical Science and Technology, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan
Department of Biomedical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 11221, Taiwan
Department of Chemistry, National Changhua University of Education, Changhua 50007, Taiwan
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 116, Taiwan
Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jóhannes Reynisson FRSC
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2856;
Received: 14 May 2020 / Revised: 12 June 2020 / Accepted: 18 June 2020 / Published: 20 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Anticancer Drug Discovery)
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common cause of cancer death worldwide. Sorafenib, a multikinase inhibitor, is the first-line drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of patients with advanced HCC. However, most patients who continuously receive sorafenib may acquire resistance to this drug. Therefore, it is important to develop a new compound to treat liver cancer and sorafenib-resistant liver cancer. Barbituric acid derivatives have been used as antiasthmatic drugs in the clinic. We previously reported that a novel barbituric acid derivative inhibited carbon tetrachloride-induced liver fibrosis in mice, but its effects on liver cancer remain unknown. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the antitumor effect of barbituric acid derivatives on HCC cells and sorafenib-resistant HCC cells (HCC-SRs). Our findings reveal that one of the barbituric acid derivatives, BA-5, significantly inhibited HCC and HCC-SR cell viability in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Therefore, compound BA-5 was selected for further experiments. Western blot data revealed that BA-5 treatment decreased the phosphorylation of AKT/p70s6k without affecting the MAPK pathway and increased cleaved PARP and cleaved caspase-7 in both HCC and HCC-SR cells. Since epithelial-mesenchymal transition plays a significant role in regulating cancer invasion and migration, we used the wound healing assay to evaluate the antimigratory effect of compound BA-5. The results showed that BA-5 treatment inhibited HCC and HCC-SR cell migration and reduced Vimentin protein expression. These results were confirmed by microarray analysis showing that BA-5 treatment influenced cancer cell motility and growth-related pathways. In the xenograft mouse model experiment, BA-5 administration significantly inhibited HCC cancer cell growth in mice. Furthermore, the combination of BA-5 with a low dose of regorafenib synergistically inhibited HCC-SR cell proliferation. In conclusion, our study showed that the barbituric acid derivative BA-5 is a new candidate for HCC and sorafenib-resistant HCC therapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: barbituric acid derivatives; drug resistance; liver cancer barbituric acid derivatives; drug resistance; liver cancer
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liao, Y.-J.; Hsu, S.-M.; Chien, C.-Y.; Wang, Y.-H.; Hsu, M.-H.; Suk, F.-M. Treatment with a New Barbituric Acid Derivative Exerts Antiproliferative and Antimigratory Effects against Sorafenib Resistance in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Molecules 2020, 25, 2856.

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