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Open Access Research article

A novel role for 3, 4-dichloropropionanilide (DCPA) in the inhibition of prostate cancer cell migration, proliferation, and hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha expression

Bing-Hua Jiang12*, Ling-Zhi Liu12, Rosana Schafer12, Daniel C Flynn12 and John B Barnett12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506, USA

2 The Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506, USA

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BMC Cancer 2006, 6:204  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-204

Published: 2 August 2006



The amide class compound, 3, 4-dichloropropionanilide (DCPA) is known to affect multiple signaling pathways in lymphocyte and macrophage including the inhibition of NF-κB ability. However, little is known about the effect of DCPA in cancer cells. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) regulates the expression of many genes including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), heme oxygenase 1, inducible nitric oxide synthase, aldolase, enolase, and lactate dehydrogenase A. HIF-1 expression is associated with tumorigenesis and angiogenesis.


We used Transwell assay to study cell migration, and used immunoblotting to study specific protein expression in the cells.


In this report, we demonstrate that DCPA inhibited the migration and proliferation of DU145 and PC-3 prostate cancer cells induced by serum, insulin, and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I). We found that DCPA inhibited HIF-1 expression in a subunit-specific manner in these cancer cell lines induced by serum and growth factors, and decreased HIF-1α expression by affecting its protein stability.


DCPA can inhibit prostate cancer cell migration, proliferation, and HIF-1α expression, suggesting that DCPA could be potentially used for therapeutic purpose for prostate cancer in the future.