Preclinical Evaluation of a Novel Small Molecule LCC-21 to Suppress Colorectal Cancer Malignancy by Inhibiting Angiogenic and Metastatic Signatures

Ntlotlang Mokgautsi, Yu Cheng Kuo, Yan Jiun Huang, Chien Hsin Chen, Debabrata Mukhopadhyay, Alexander T.H. Wu, Hsu Shan Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers, and it frequently metastasizes to the liver and lymph nodes. Despite major advances in treatment modalities, CRC remains a poorly characterized biological malignancy, with high reported cases of deaths globally. Moreover, cancer stem cells (CSCs) and their microenvironment have been widely shown to promote colon cancer development, progression, and metastasis. Therefore, an understanding of the underlying mechanisms that contribute to the maintenance of CSCs and their markers in CRC is crucial in efforts to treat cancer metastasis and develop specific therapeutic targets for augmenting current standard treatments. Herein, we applied computational simulations using bioinformatics to identify potential theranostic markers for CRC. We identified the overexpression of vascular endothelial growth factor-α (VEGFA)/β-catenin/matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-7/Cluster of Differentiation 44 (CD44) in CRC to be associated with cancer progression, stemness, resistance to therapy, metastasis, and poor clinical outcomes. To further investigate, we explored in silico molecular docking, which revealed potential inhibitory activities of LCC-21 as a potential multitarget small molecule for VEGF-A/CTNNB1/MMP7/CD44 oncogenic signatures, with the highest binding affinities displayed. We validated these finding in vitro and demonstrated that LCC-21 inhibited colony and sphere formation, migration, and invasion, and these results were further confirmed by a Western blot analysis in HCT116 and DLD-1 cells. Thus, the inhibitory effects of LCC-21 on these angiogenic and onco-immunogenic signatures could be of translational relevance as potential CRC biomarkers for early diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number266
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • LCC-21
  • angiogenesis
  • colorectal cancer (CRC)
  • metastasis
  • niclosamide
  • stemness
  • therapeutic resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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