Statin and rottlerin small-molecule inhibitors restrict colon cancer progression and metastasis via MACC1


  • M. Juneja
  • D. Kobelt
  • W. Walther
  • C. Voss
  • J. Smith
  • E. Specker
  • M. Neuenschwander
  • B.O. Gohlke
  • M. Dahlmann
  • S. Radetzki
  • R. Preissner
  • J.P. von Kries
  • P.M. Schlag
  • U. Stein


  • PLoS Biology


  • PLoS Biol 15 (6): e2000784


  • MACC1 (Metastasis Associated in Colon Cancer 1) is a key driver and prognostic biomarker for cancer progression and metastasis in a large variety of solid tumor types, particularly colorectal cancer (CRC). However, no MACC1 inhibitors have been identified yet. Therefore, we aimed to target MACC1 expression using a luciferase reporter-based high-throughput screening with the ChemBioNet library of more than 30,000 compounds. The small molecules lovastatin and rottlerin emerged as the most potent MACC1 transcriptional inhibitors. They remarkably inhibited MACC1 promoter activity and expression, resulting in reduced cell motility. Lovastatin impaired the binding of the transcription factors c-Jun and Sp1 to the MACC1 promoter, thereby inhibiting MACC1 transcription. Most importantly, in CRC-xenografted mice, lovastatin and rottlerin restricted MACC1 expression and liver metastasis. This is-to the best of our knowledge-the first identification of inhibitors restricting cancer progression and metastasis via the novel target MACC1. This drug repositioning might be of therapeutic value for CRC patients.