Distant metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) is present in approximately 25% of patients at initial diagnosis, and eventually half of CRC patients will develop metastatic disease. The 5-year survival rate for patients with metastatic CRC is a mere 12.5%; thus, there is an urgent need to investigate the molecular mechanisms of cancer progression in CRC. High expression of human high-mobility group A2 (HMGA2) is related to tumor progression, a poor prognosis, and a poor response to therapy for CRC. Therefore, HMGA2 is an attractive target for cancer therapy. In this study, we identified aspirin and sulindac sulfide as novel potential inhibitors of HMGA2 using a genome-wide mRNA signature-based approach. In addition, aspirin and sulindac sulfide induced cytotoxicity of CRC cells stably expressing HMGA2 by inhibiting cell proliferation and migration. Moreover, a gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) revealed that gene sets related to inflammation were positively correlated with HMGA2 and that the main molecular function of these genes was categorized as a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) activity event. Collectively, this is the first study to report that aspirin and sulindac sulfide are novel potential inhibitors of HMGA2, which can induce cytotoxicity of CRC cells stably expressing HMGA2 by inhibiting cell proliferation and migration through influencing inflammatory-response genes, the majority of which are involved in GPCR signaling.
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