• Authors: Skarydova, L., Hofman, J., Chlebek, J., Havrankova, J., Kosanova, K., Skarka, A., Hostalkova, A., Plucha, T., Cahlikova, L., Wsol, V.
  • Year: 2014
  • Journal: J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 143 250-8
  • Applications: in vitro / DNA / jetPRIME
  • Cell types:
    1. Name: HCT 116
      Description: Human colon carcinoma cells
      Known as: HCT116
    2. Name: MCF7
      Description: Human breast adenocarcinoma cells
      Known as: MCF-7, MCF 7


AKR1C3 is an important human enzyme that participates in the reduction of steroids and prostaglandins, which leads to proliferative signalling. In addition, this enzyme also participates in the biotransformation of xenobiotics, such as drugs and procarcinogens. AKR1C3 is involved in the development of both hormone-dependent and hormone-independent cancers and was recently demonstrated to confer cell resistance to anthracyclines. Because AKR1C3 is frequently upregulated in various cancers, this enzyme has been suggested as a therapeutic target for the treatment of these pathological conditions. In this study, nineteen isoquinoline alkaloids were examined for their ability to inhibit a recombinant AKR1C3 enzyme. As a result, stylopine was demonstrated to be the most potent inhibitor among the tested compounds and exhibited moderate selectivity towards AKR1C3. In the follow-up cellular studies, stylopine significantly inhibited the AKR1C3-mediated reduction of daunorubicin in intact cells without considerable cytotoxic effects. This inhibitor could therefore be used as a model AKR1C3 inhibitor in research or evaluated as a possible therapeutic anticancer drug. Furthermore, based on our results, stylopine can serve as a model compound for the design and future development of structurally related AKR1C3 inhibitors.