Identification of nuclear export inhibitors with potent anticancer activity in vivo

Sarah C. Mutka, Wen Qing Yang, Steven D. Dong, Shannon L. Ward, Darren A. Craig, Pieter B.M.W.M. Timmermans, Sumati Murli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The export protein CRM1 is required for the nuclear export of a wide variety of cancer-related "cargo" proteins including p53, c-Abl, and FOXO-3A. Leptomycin B (LMB) is a highly specific inhibitor of CRM1 with significant in vitro potency but limited in vivo efficacy due to toxicity. We now report a series of semisynthetic LMB derivatives showing substantially improved therapeutic windows. Exposure of cancer cells to these compounds leads to a rapid and prolonged block of nuclear export and apoptosis. In contrast to what is observed in cancer cells, these agents induce cell cycle arrest, but not apoptosis, in normal lung fibroblasts. These new nuclear export inhibitors (NEI) maintain the high potency of LMB, are up to 16-fold better tolerated than LMB in vivo, and show significant efficacy in multiple mouse xenograft models. These NEIs show the potential of CRM1 inhibitors as novel and potent anticancer agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-517
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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