Licensing status

Publication and contact information


Breast cancer

Solute carrier family 7 member 11 cystine glutamate transporter (SLC7A11; xCT)

In vitro and mouse studies suggest xCT inhibitors could help treat a subset of triple-negative breast cancers. In a panel of 46 breast cancer cell lines, metabolic analysis identified a subset of triple-negative cells that were dependent on glutamine. In cultured breast cancer cells, inhibition of the glutamine-dependent xCT by small interfering RNA knockdown or Azulfidine sulfasalazine increased oxidative stress compared with no inhibition. In glutamine-dependent breast cancer cells and in mouse xenograft models, sulfasalazine decreased growth compared with saline. Next steps could include developing improved xCT inhibitors derived from sulfasalazine.
Pfizer Inc. markets Azulfidine sulfasalazine to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

SciBX 6(43); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1216
Published online Nov. 7, 2013

Patent and licensing status unavailable

Timmerman, L.A. et al. Cancer Cell; published online Oct. 3, 2013;
Contact: Luika A. Timmerman, University of California,
San Francisco, Calif.