Zinc-finger protein 143 (ZNF143) is a transcription factor that is involved in anticancer drug resistance and cancer cell survival. In the present study, we identified a novel small molecule N-(5-bromo-2-methoxyphenyl)-3-(pyridine-3-yl) propiolamide (YPC-21661) that inhibited ZNF143 promoter activity and down-regulated the expression of the ZNF143-regulated genes, RAD51, PLK1, and Survivin, by inhibiting the binding of ZNF143 to DNA. In addition, YPC-21661 was cytotoxic and induced apoptosis in the human colon cancer cell line, HCT116 and human prostate cancer cell line, PC-3. 2-(pyridine-3-ylethynyl)-5-(2-(trifluoromethoxy)phenyl)-1,3,4-oxadiazole (YPC-22026), a metabolically stable derivative of YPC-21661, induced tumor regression accompanied by the suppression of ZNF143-regulated genes in a mouse xenograft model. The present study revealed that the inhibition of ZNF143 activity by small molecules induced tumor regression in vitro and in vivo; therefore, ZNF143 is a promising target of cancer therapeutics.
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