Effects of selected deubiquitinating enzyme inhibitors on the proliferation and motility of lung cancer and mesothelioma cell lines

Tamara Mirzapoiazova, Alexander Pozhitkov, Arin Nam, Isa Mambetsariev, Michael S. Nelson, Yi Hung Carol Tan, Keqiang Zhang, Dan Raz, Sharad Singhal, Mohd W. Nasser, Prakash Kulkarni, Surinder K. Batra, Martin Sattler, Ravi Salgia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The post‑translational modification of proteins by ubiquitinating enzymes plays a central role in a number of cellular functions, such as cell proteolysis, DNA repair, and cell signaling and communication. Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) disassemble ubiquitin chains and remove ubiquitin moieties from proteins. Targeting DUBs in cancer models has revealed an important role for these enzymes in tumorigenesis, and they therefore have emerged as attractive therapeutic targets. In the present study, the effects of three DUB inhibitors, PR‑619, RA‑9 and LDN‑91946, on a non‑small cell lung cancer cell line (A549) and a mesothelioma cell line (H2373) were investigated. PR‑619 significantly inhibited cell adhesion and the proliferation of both cell lines. RA‑9 exerted an inhibitory effect on the adhesion and proliferation of H2373 cells, whereas it had no effect on A549 cells. Notably, however, while PR‑619 attenuated the proliferation of both cell lines, it exerted an opposite effect on cell motility; in the case of A549 cells, there was a significant increase in cell motility, while for the H2373 cells, there was a significant decrease. Furthermore, protein phosphorylation kinetic analyses revealed that the effects were cell line‑specific. In H2373 cells, the phosphorylation of only one peptide corresponding to the P85A protein was significantly affected, and while LDN‑91946 treatment increased phosphorylation, treatment with RA‑9 or PR‑619 decreased its phosphorylation compared to the DMSO control. By contrast, in the case of A549 cells, the phosphorylation of 21 peptides was significantly affected by the same compounds. In light of the potential for the negative side‑effects of DUB inhibition, such as increased cancer cell motility, the data presented herein underscore the dire need for the development of specific DUB inhibitors and to elucidate the individual role of DUB family members in cancer biology before they can be specifically pharmacologically targeted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-86
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Cell migration
  • Cell proliferation
  • Deubiquitinase inhibitor
  • Deubiquitinating enzyme
  • LDN‑91946
  • Lung adenocarcinoma
  • Mesothelioma
  • PR‑619
  • RA‑9
  • Ubiquitination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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