Effects of novel pyrrolomycin MP1 in MYCN amplified chemoresistant neuroblastoma cell lines alone and combined with temsirolimus

Timothy R. McGuire, Don W. Coulter, Dachang Bai, Jason A. Sughroue, Jerry Li, Zunhua Yang, Zhen Qiao, Yan Liu, Daryl J. Murry, Yashpal S. Chhonker, Erin M. McIntyre, Gracey Alexander, John G. Sharp, Rongshi Li

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1 Scopus citations


Background: The activity of MP1, a pyrrolomycin, was studied in MYCN amplified neuroblastoma (NB) alone and combined with temsirolimus (TEM). Methods: Activity of MP1 was tested in MYCN amplified (BE-2c, IMR) and non amplified (SKN-AS) NB cells. The effect of MP1 on MYCN, MCL-1, cleaved PARP, LC3II/LC3I, bcl-2, BAX, and BRD-4 were determined by western blot and RNAseq. The effect of MP1 on metabolism, mitochondrial morphology, and cell cycle was determined. Toxicology and efficacy of MP1 plus TEM were evaluated. Results: The IC50 of MP1 was 0.096 μM in BE-2c cells compared to 0.89 μM in IMR, and >50 μM in SKN-AS. The IC50 of MP1 plus TEM in BE-2c cells was 0.023 μM. MP1 inhibited metabolism leading to quiescence and produced a decline in cell cycle S-phase. Electron microscopy showed cristae loss and rounding up of mitochondria. Gene and protein expression for MYCN and MCL-1 declined while LCII and cleaved PARP increased. Protein expression of BAX, bcl-2, and BRD-4 were not significantly changed after MP1 treatment. The in-vivo concentrations of MP1 in blood and tumor were sufficient to produce the biologic effects seen in-vitro. MP1 plus TEM produced a complete response in 3 out of 5 tumor bearing mice. In a second mouse study, the combination of MP1 and TEM slowed tumor growth compared to control. Conclusions: MP1 has a potent inhibitory effect on the viability of MYCN amplified NB. Inhibition of metabolism by MP1 induced quiescence and autophagy with a favorable toxicology and drug distribution profile. When combined with TEM anti-tumor activity was potentiated in-vitro and in-vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number837
JournalBMC cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 27 2019


  • MYCN
  • Metabolism
  • Mitochondria
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Pyrrolomycin Marinopyrrole (MP1)
  • Temsirolimus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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