4-Methylumbelliferone Abstracts 1

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Inhibition of hyaluronan retention by 4-methylumbelliferone suppresses osteosarcoma cells in vitro and lung metastasis in vivo.
            (Arai et al., 2011) Download
BACKGROUND:  Hyaluronan (HA) plays crucial roles in the tumourigenicity of many types of malignant tumours. 4-Methylumbelliferone (MU) is an inhibitor of HA synthesis. Several studies have shown its inhibitory effects on malignant tumours; however, none have focused on its effects on osteosarcoma. METHODS:  We investigated the effects of MU on HA accumulation and tumourigenicity of highly metastatic murine osteosarcoma cells (LM8) that have HA-rich cell-associated matrix, and human osteosarcoma cell lines (MG-63 and HOS). RESULTS:  In vitro, MU inhibited HA retention, thereby reducing the formation of functional cell-associated matrices, and also inhibited cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. Akt phosphorylation was suppressed by MU (1.0 mM). In vivo, although MU showed only a mild inhibitory effect on the growth of the primary tumour, it markedly inhibited (75% reduction) the development of lung metastasis. Hyaluronan retention in the periphery of the primary tumour was markedly suppressed by MU. CONCLUSION:  These findings suggested that MU suppressed HA retention and cell-associated matrix formation in osteosarcoma cells, resulting in a reduction of tumourigenicity, including lung metastasis. 4-Methylumbelliferone is a promising therapeutic agent targeting both primary tumours and distant metastasis of osteosarcoma, possibly via suppression of HA retention.

Dietary supplement hymecromone and sorafenib: a novel combination for the control of renal cell carcinoma.
            (Benitez et al., 2013) Download
PURPOSE:  Current treatments for metastatic renal cell carcinoma do not extend survival beyond a few months. Sorafenib is a targeted drug approved for metastatic renal cell carcinoma but it has modest efficacy. Hymecromone is a nontoxic dietary supplement with some antitumor activity at high doses of 450 to 3,000 mg per day. Hymecromone inhibits the synthesis of hyaluronic acid, which promotes tumor growth and metastasis. We recently noted that the hyaluronic acid receptors CD44 and RHAMM are potential predictors of metastatic renal cell carcinoma. In the current study we examined the antitumor properties of hymecromone, sorafenib and the combination in renal cell carcinoma models. MATERIALS AND METHODS:  Using proliferation, clonogenic and apoptosis assays, we examined the effects of hymecromone (0 to 32 μg/ml), sorafenib (0 to 3.2 μg/ml) and hymecromone plus sorafenib in Caki-1, 786-O, ACHN and A498 renal cell carcinoma cells, and HMVEC-L and HUVEC endothelial cells. A Boyden chamber was used for motility and invasion assays. Apoptosis indicators, hyaluronic acid receptors, epidermal growth factor receptor and c-Met were evaluated by immunoblot. The efficacy of hymecromone, sorafenib and hymecromone plus sorafenib was assessed in the sorafenib resistant Caki-1 xenograft model. RESULTS:  Hymecromone plus sorafenib synergistically inhibited proliferation (greater than 95%), motility/invasion (65%) and capillary formation (76%) in renal cell carcinoma and/or endothelial cells, and induced apoptosis eightfold (p <0.001). Hymecromone plus sorafenib inhibited hyaluronic acid synthesis and adding hyaluronic acid reversed the cytotoxicity of hymecromone plus sorafenib. Hymecromone plus sorafenib up-regulated pro-apoptotic indicators and down-regulated Mcl-1, CD44, RHAMM, phospho-epidermal growth factor receptor and phospho-cMet. In all assays hymecromone and sorafenib alone were ineffective. Oral administration of hymecromone (50 to 200 mg/kg) plus sorafenib (30 mg/kg) eradicated Caki-1 tumor growth without toxicity. Hymecromone and sorafenib alone were ineffective. CONCLUSIONS:  To our knowledge this is the first study to show that the combination of sorafenib and the nontoxic dietary supplement hymecromone is highly effective for controlling renal cell carcinoma.

Reduced chondrogenic matrix accumulation by 4-methylumbelliferone reveals the potential for selective targeting of UDP-glucose dehydrogenase.
            (Clarkin et al., 2011) Download
4-Methylumbelliferone (4-MU) is described as a selective inhibitor of hyaluronan (HA) production. It is thought that 4-MU depletes UDP-glucuronic acid (UDP-GlcUA) substrate for HA synthesis and also suppresses HA-synthase expression. The possibility that 4-MU exerts at least some of its actions via regulation of UDP-glucose dehydrogenase (UGDH), a key enzyme required for both HA and sulphated-glycosaminoglycan (sGAG) production, remains unexplored. We therefore examined the effects of 4-MU on basal and retroviral UGDH-driven HA and sGAG release in cells derived from chick articular cartilage and its influence upon UGDH protein and mRNA expression and HA and sGAG production. We found that 4-MU: i) suppressed UGDH mRNA and protein expression and chondrogenic matrix accumulation in chick limb bud micromass culture, ii) significantly reduced both HA and sGAG production and iii) more selectively reversed the potentiating effects of UGDH overexpression on the production of HA than sGAG. Understanding how GAG synthesis is controlled and the mechanism of 4-MU action may inform its future clinical success.


 

Antitumor activity of hyaluronic acid synthesis inhibitor 4-methylumbelliferone in prostate cancer cells.
            (Lokeshwar et al., 2010) Download
4-Methylumbelliferone (4-MU) is a hyaluronic acid (HA) synthesis inhibitor with anticancer properties; the mechanism of its anticancer effects is unknown. We evaluated the effects of 4-MU on prostate cancer cells. 4-MU inhibited proliferation, motility, and invasion of DU145, PC3-ML, LNCaP, C4-2B, and/or LAPC-4 cells. At IC(50) for HA synthesis (0.4 mmol/L), 4-MU induced >3-fold apoptosis in prostate cancer cells, which could be prevented by the addition of HA. 4-MU induced caspase-8, caspase-9, and caspase-3 activation, PARP cleavage, upregulation of Fas-L, Fas, FADD and DR4, and downregulation of bcl-2, phosphorylated bad, bcl-XL, phosphorylated Akt, phosphorylated IKB, phosphorylated ErbB2, and phosphorylated epidermal growth factor receptor. At IC(50), 4-MU also caused >90% inhibition of NF-kappaB reporter activity, which was prevented partially by the addition of HA. With the exception of caveolin-1, HA reversed the 4-MU-induced downregulation of HA receptors (CD44 and RHAMM), matrix-degrading enzymes (MMP-2 and MMP-9), interleukin-8, and chemokine receptors (CXCR1, CXCR4, and CXCR7) at the protein and mRNA levels. Expression of myristoylated-Akt rescued 4-MU-induced apoptosis and inhibition of cell growth and interleukin-8, RHAMM, HAS2, CD44, and MMP-9 expression. Oral administration of 4-MU significantly decreased PC3-ML tumor growth (>3-fold) when treatment was started either on the day of tumor cell injection or after the tumors became palpable, without organ toxicity, changes in serum chemistry, or body weight. Tumors from 4-MU-treated animals showed reduced microvessel density ( approximately 3-fold) and HA expression but increased terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling-positive cells and expression of apoptosis-related molecules. Therefore, the anticancer effects of 4-MU, an orally bioavailable and relatively nontoxic agent, are primarily mediated by inhibition of HA signaling.

4-Methylumbelliferone Suppresses Hyaluronan Synthesis and Tumor Progression in SCID Mice Intra-abdominally Inoculated With Pancreatic Cancer Cells.
            (Nagase et al., 2017) Download
OBJECTIVES:  Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma contains large amounts of the glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan (HA), which is involved in various physiological processes. Here, we aimed to clarify the anticancer mechanisms of 4-methylumbelliferone (MU), a well-known HA synthesis inhibitor. METHODS:  MIA PaCa-2 human pancreatic cancer cells were used. We evaluated cellular proliferation, migration, and invasion in the presence of MU, exogenous HA, and an anti-CD44 antibody. We also analyzed apoptosis, CD44 expression, and HA-binding ability using flow cytometry. The HA content in tumor tissue was quantified and histopathologically investigated in mice who had been inoculated with cancer cells. RESULTS:  In vitro, MU inhibited pericellular HA matrix formation; however, HAS3 mRNA was up-regulated. Treatment with 0.5 mM MU suppressed cellular proliferation by 26.4%, migration by 14.7%, and invasion by 22.7%. Moreover, MU also significantly increased apoptosis. CD44 expression and HA-binding ability were not altered by MU. In vivo, MU suppressed HA accumulation in pancreatic tumors and improved survival times in tumor-bearing mice. CONCLUSIONS:  4-Methylumbelliferone indirectly caused apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells by inhibiting HA production. 4-Methylumbelliferone may be a promising agent in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

4-methylumbelliferone treatment and hyaluronan inhibition as a therapeutic strategy in inflammation, autoimmunity, and cancer.
            (Nagy et al., 2015) Download
Hyaluronan (HA) is a prominent component of the extracellular matrix at many sites of chronic inflammation, including type 1 diabetes (T1D), multiple sclerosis, and numerous malignancies. Recent publications have demonstrated that when HA synthesis is inhibited using 4-methylumbelliferone (4-MU), beneficial effects are observed in several animal models of these diseases. Notably, 4-MU is an already approved drug in Europe and Asia called "hymecromone" where it is used to treat biliary spasm. However, there is uncertainty regarding how 4-MU treatment provides benefit in these animal models and the potential long-term consequences of HA inhibition. Here, we review what is known about how HA contributes to immune dysregulation and tumor progression. Then, we review what is known about 4-MU and hymecromone in terms of mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, and safety. Finally, we review recent studies detailing the use of 4-MU to treat animal models of cancer and autoimmunity.

The hyaluronic acid inhibitor 4-methylumbelliferone is an NSMase2 activator-role of Ceramide in MU anti-tumor activity.
            (Qin et al., 2016) Download
Increased synthesis of hyaluronic acid (HA) is often associated with increased metastatic potential and invasivity of tumor cells. 4-Methylumbelliferone (MU) is an inhibitor of HA synthesis, and has been studied as a potential anti-tumor drug to inhibit the growth of primary tumors and distant metastasis of tumor cells. Although several studies reported that the anticancer effects of MU are mediated by inhibition of HA signaling, the mechanism still needs to be clarified. In a previous study we demonstrated the regulation of HA synthesis by ceramide, and now show how MU activated neutral sphingomyelinase2 (NSMase2) generates ceramides and mediates MU induced inhibition of HA synthesis, cell migration and invasion, and apoptosis of tumor cells. Using a HA enriched mouse oligodendroglioma cell line G26-24 we found that MU elevated the activity of NSMase2 and increased ceramide levels, which in turn increased phosphatase PP2A activity. Further, the activated PP2A reduced phosphorylation of Akt, decreased activities of HA synthase2 (HAS2) and calpains, and inhibited both the synthesis of HA, and the migration and invasion of G26-24 tumor cells. In addition, MU mediated ceramide stimulated activation of p53 and caspase-3, reduced SIRT1 expression and decreased G26-24 viability. The mechanism of the MU anticancer therefore initially involves NSMase2/ceramide/PP2A/AKT/HAS2/caspase-3/p53/SIRT1 and the calpain signaling pathway, suggesting that ceramides play a key role in the ability of a tumor to become aggressively metastatic and grow.

The hyaluronan synthesis inhibitor 4-methylumbelliferone exhibits antitumor effects against mesenchymal-like canine mammary tumor cells.
            (Saito et al., 2013) Download
Hyaluronan (HA), a principal constituent of the extracellular matrix (ECM), mediates growth and metastasis of tumor cells. The role of HA in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is well known, and increased ECM remodeling is observed in mesenchymal-like cells. The HA synthesis inhibitor 4-methylumbelliferone (4-MU) is anti-tumorigenic for various malignant tumors. However, the antitumor effect of 4-MU against canine mammary tumor cells that possess a mesenchymal-like phenotype is unclear. We examined the antitumor effect of 4-MU on CF41.Mg mesenchymal-like canine mammary tumor cells. We investigated the influence of 4-MU on the expression of HA synthase (HAS) 1-3 mRNA and observed dose-dependent downregulation of HAS2 mRNA at 24-72 h; in contrast, HAS3 expression was elevated at 24 h. Thus, 4-MU inhibited HA synthesis via HAS2 repression. 4-MU also inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in the CF41.Mg cells. Our experiments showed that 4-MU-induced apoptosis in CF41.Mg cells involved induction of the pro-apoptotic gene BAX. We also assessed motility and found that 4-MU reduced chemokinesis and chemotaxis in CF41.Mg cells. Our data suggest that 4-MU may serve as a candidate therapeutic agent for the treatment of canine mammary tumors. Since 4-MU exhibits antitumor activity in mesenchymal-like cells, it may also be a useful inhibitor of canine mammary tumor invasion and metastasis.

4-Methylumbelliferone inhibits ovarian cancer growth by suppressing thymidine phosphorylase expression.
            (Tamura et al., 2014) Download
BACKGROUND:  4-Methylumbelliferone (4-MU), a hyaluronan (HA) synthesis inhibitor, has antitumor activity in cancer cells. However, few studies have focused on its effects on ovarian cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of 4-MU on ovarian cancer and to elucidate its mechanism of action. METHODS:  The HRA human ovarian serous adenocarcinoma cell line was used in this study. The effects of 4-MU on cell proliferation, migration, and invasion were determined by using in vitro assays as well as an in vivo rat peritoneal carcinomatosis model. The expression of HA synthase (HAS), CD44 HA receptor, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and thymidine phosphorylase (TP) mRNA in HRA cells was analyzed by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). RESULTS:  4-MU administration inhibited the growth of peritoneal tumors and significantly prolonged survival. In vitro experiments showed that 4-MU inhibited HRA cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner, while it did not affect HRA cell invasion and migration. 4-MU significantly decreased TP mRNA expression in HRA cells. On the other hand, since HAS2, CD44, and VEGF endogenous mRNA expression levels were very low in HRA cells, it was impossible to evaluate the effect of 4-MU treatment. CONCLUSIONS:  These results suggest that 4-MU exerts its antitumor effect on ovarian cancer through suppressing TP expression.

Inhibition of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma progression by in vivo targeting of hyaluronan synthesis.
            (Twarock et al., 2011) Download
BACKGROUND:  Oesophageal cancer is a highly aggressive tumour entity with at present poor prognosis. Therefore, novel treatment options are urgently needed. Hyaluronan (HA) is a polysaccharide present in the matrix of human oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Importantly, in vitro ESCC cells critically depend on HA synthesis to maintain the proliferative phenotype. The aim of the present study is (1) to study HA-synthase (HAS) expression and regulation in human ESCC, and (2) to translate the in vitro results into a mouse xenograft model of human ESCC to study the effects of systemic versus tumour targeted HAS inhibition on proliferation and distribution of tumour-bound and stromal hyaluronan. METHODS:  mRNA expression was investigated in human ESCC biopsies by semiquantitative real-time RT PCR. Furthermore, human ESCC were xenografted into NMRI nu/nu mice. The effects on tumour progression and morphology of 4-methylumbelliferone (4-MU), an inhibitor of HA-synthesis, and of lentiviral knock down of HA-synthase 3 (HAS3), the main HAS isoform in the human ESCC tissues and the human ESCC cell line used in this study, were determined. Tumour progression was monitored by calliper measurements and by flat-panel detector volume computed tomography (fpVCT). HA content, cellular composition and proliferation (Ki67) were determined histologically. RESULTS:  mRNA of HAS isoform 3 (HAS3) was upregulated in human ESCC biopsies and HAS3 mRNA was positively correlated to expression of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor. EGF was also proven to be a strong inductor of HAS3 mRNA expression in vitro. During the course of seven weeks, 4-MU inhibited progression of xenograft tumours. Interestingly, remodelling of the tumour into a more differentiated phenotype and inhibition of cell proliferation were observed. Lentiviral knockdown of HAS3 in human ESCC cells prior to xenografting mimicked all effects of 4-MU treatment suggesting that hyaluronan produced by ESCC is accountable for major changes in tumour environment in vivo. CONCLUSIONS:  Systemic inhibition of HA-synthesis and knockdown of tumour cell HAS3 cause decreased ESCC progression accompanied by tumour stroma remodelling and may therefore be used in novel approaches to ESCC therapy.

Dietary supplement 4-methylumbelliferone: an effective chemopreventive and therapeutic agent for prostate cancer.
            (Yates et al., 2015) Download
BACKGROUND:  Prevention and treatment of advanced prostate cancer (PCa) by a nontoxic agent can improve outcome, while maintaining quality of life. 4-methylumbelliferone (4-MU) is a dietary supplement that inhibits hyaluronic acid (HA) synthesis. We evaluated the chemopreventive and therapeutic efficacy and mechanism of action of 4-MU. METHODS:  TRAMP mice (7-28 per group) were gavaged with 4-MU (450mg/kg/day) in a stage-specific treatment design (8-28, 12-28, 22-28 weeks). Efficacy of 4-MU (200-450mg/kg/day) was also evaluated in the PC3-ML/Luc(+) intracardiac injection and DU145 subcutaneous models. PCa cells and tissues were analyzed for HA and Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI-3K)/Akt signaling and apoptosis effectors. HA add-back and myristoylated Akt (mAkt) overexpression studies evaluated the mechanism of action of 4-MU. Data were analyzed with one-way analysis of variance and unpaired t test or Tukey's multiple comparison test. All statistical tests were two-sided. RESULTS:  While vehicle-treated transgenic adenocarcinoma of the prostate (TRAMP) mice developed prostate tumors and metastases at 28 weeks, both were abrogated in treatment groups, without serum/organ toxicity or weight loss; no tumors developed at one year, even after stopping the treatment at 28 weeks. 4-MU did not alter the transgene or neuroendocrine marker expression but downregulated HA levels. However, 4-MU decreased microvessel density and proliferative index (P < .0001,). 4-MU completely prevented/inhibited skeletal metastasis in the PC3-ML/Luc(+) model and DU145-tumor growth (85-90% inhibition, P = .002). 4-MU also statistically significantly downregulated HA receptors, PI-3K/CD44 complex and activity, Akt signaling, and β-catenin levels/activation, but upregulated GSK-3 function, E-cadherin, and apoptosis effectors (P < .001); HA addition or mAkt overexpression rescued these effects. CONCLUSION:  4-MU is an effective nontoxic, oral chemopreventive, and therapeutic agent that targets PCa development, growth, and metastasis by abrogating HA signaling.

Antitumor effects of the hyaluronan inhibitor 4-methylumbelliferone on pancreatic cancer.
            (Yoshida et al., 2016) Download
Hyaluronan (HA) is a major component of the extracellular matrix (ECM), and influences tumor invasion and metastasis. In a previous study, the present authors reported for the first time that 4-methylumbelliferone (MU) inhibited HA synthesis and suppressed tumor growth. However, the localization of HA and the changes in ECM morphology caused by MU in pancreatic cancer remain to be examined in detail. In the present study, the cytotoxicity of MU and its effect on cellular proliferation was evaluated in the human pancreatic cancer cell line MIA PaCa-2. The amount of HA synthesized and the retention of HA around the cells were quantitatively and immunohistochemically analyzed in vitro and in vivo. Structural changes in the ECM in the tumor tissue were investigated using an electron microscope. MU treatment led to a decrease in extracellular HA retention, as evidenced by a particle exclusion assay and immunohistochemical staining. Cell proliferation was suppressed by MU in a dose-dependent manner. The release of lactate dehydrogenase into the culture medium due to damage to the cellular membrane did not increase following MU administration. In tumor-inoculated mice, MU suppressed any increase in tumor volume and decreased the quantity of HA. Electron microscopy revealed that MU attenuated the intercellular space and caused it to be less cohesive. These data indicate that MU inhibits HA synthesis and reduces the amount of HA in the ECM while exhibiting no obvious cytotoxic effect. These findings suggest that MU has potential as a novel therapeutic agent for pancreatic cancer.

A hyaluronan synthase suppressor, 4-methylumbelliferone, inhibits liver metastasis of melanoma cells.
            (Yoshihara et al., 2005) Download
4-Methylumbelliferone (MU) inhibits the cell surface hyaluronan (HA) formation, and that such inhibition results in suppression of adhesion and locomotion of cultured melanoma cells. Here, we examine the effect of MU on melanoma cell metastasis in vivo. MU-treated melanoma cells showed both decreased cell surface HA formation and suppression of liver metastasis after injection into the mice. Oral administration of MU to mice decreased tissue HA content. These HA knock-down mice displayed suppressed liver metastasis. Thus, both cell surface HA of melanoma cells and recipient liver HA can promote liver metastasis, indicating that MU has potential as an anti-metastatic agent.

 


References

Arai, E, et al. (2011), ‘Inhibition of hyaluronan retention by 4-methylumbelliferone suppresses osteosarcoma cells in vitro and lung metastasis in vivo.’, Br J Cancer, 105 (12), 1839-49. PubMed: 22045192
Benitez, A, et al. (2013), ‘Dietary supplement hymecromone and sorafenib: a novel combination for the control of renal cell carcinoma.’, J Urol, 190 (1), 285-90. PubMed: 23228386
Clarkin, CE, et al. (2011), ‘Reduced chondrogenic matrix accumulation by 4-methylumbelliferone reveals the potential for selective targeting of UDP-glucose dehydrogenase.’, Matrix Biol, 30 (3), 163-68. PubMed: 21292001
Lokeshwar, VB, et al. (2010), ‘Antitumor activity of hyaluronic acid synthesis inhibitor 4-methylumbelliferone in prostate cancer cells.’, Cancer Res, 70 (7), 2613-23. PubMed: 20332231
Nagase, H, et al. (2017), ‘4-Methylumbelliferone Suppresses Hyaluronan Synthesis and Tumor Progression in SCID Mice Intra-abdominally Inoculated With Pancreatic Cancer Cells.’, Pancreas, 46 (2), 190-97. PubMed: 27846148
Nagy, N, et al. (2015), ‘4-methylumbelliferone treatment and hyaluronan inhibition as a therapeutic strategy in inflammation, autoimmunity, and cancer.’, Front Immunol, 6 123. PubMed: 25852691
Qin, J, J Kilkus, and G Dawson (2016), ‘The hyaluronic acid inhibitor 4-methylumbelliferone is an NSMase2 activator-role of Ceramide in MU anti-tumor activity.’, Biochim Biophys Acta, 1861 (2), 78-90. PubMed: 26548718
Saito, T, T Dai, and R Asano (2013), ‘The hyaluronan synthesis inhibitor 4-methylumbelliferone exhibits antitumor effects against mesenchymal-like canine mammary tumor cells.’, Oncol Lett, 5 (3), 1068-74. PubMed: 23426189
Tamura, R, et al. (2014), ‘4-Methylumbelliferone inhibits ovarian cancer growth by suppressing thymidine phosphorylase expression.’, J Ovarian Res, 7 94. PubMed: 25304388
Twarock, S, et al. (2011), ‘Inhibition of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma progression by in vivo targeting of hyaluronan synthesis.’, Mol Cancer, 10 30. PubMed: 21429221
Yates, TJ, et al. (2015), ‘Dietary supplement 4-methylumbelliferone: an effective chemopreventive and therapeutic agent for prostate cancer.’, J Natl Cancer Inst, 107 (7), PubMed: 25868577
Yoshida, E, et al. (2016), ‘Antitumor effects of the hyaluronan inhibitor 4-methylumbelliferone on pancreatic cancer.’, Oncol Lett, 12 (4), 2337-44. PubMed: 27698797
Yoshihara, S, et al. (2005), ‘A hyaluronan synthase suppressor, 4-methylumbelliferone, inhibits liver metastasis of melanoma cells.’, FEBS Lett, 579 (12), 2722-26. PubMed: 15862315