Effective killing of cancer cells and regression of tumor growth by K27 targeting sulfiredoxin

Jiwon Kim, Gong Rak Lee, Hojin Kim, You Jin Jo, Seong Eun Hong, Jiae Lee, Hye In Lee, Yeong Su Jang, Seung Hyun Oh, Hwa Jeong Lee, Ju Seog Lee, Woojin Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Cancer cells have been suggested to be more susceptible to oxidative damages and highly dependent on antioxidant capacity in comparison with normal cells, and thus targeting antioxidant enzymes has been a strategy for effective cancer treatment. Sulfiredoxin (Srx) is an enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of sulfinylated peroxiredoxins and thereby reactivates them. In this study we developed a Srx inhibitor, K27 (N-[7-chloro-2-(4-fluorophenyl)-4-quinazolinyl]-N-(2-phenylethyl)-β-alanine), and showed that it induces the accumulation of sulfinylated peroxiredoxins and oxidative stress, which leads to mitochondrial damage and apoptotic death of cancer cells. The effects of K27 were significantly reversed by ectopic expression of Srx or antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine. In addition, K27 led to preferential death of tumorigenic cells over non-tumorigenic cells, and suppressed the growth of xenograft tumor without acute toxicity. Our results suggest that targeting Srx might be an effective therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment through redox-mediated cell death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-392
Number of pages9
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.


  • Apoptosis
  • Cancer
  • Mitochondrial damage
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Sulfiredoxin


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