CF102 an A3 adenosine receptor agonist mediates anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory effects in the liver

S. Cohen, S. M. Stemmer, G. Zozulya, A. Ochaion, R. Patoka, F. Barer, S. Bar-Yehuda, L. Rath-Wolfson, K. A. Jacobson, P. Fishman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The Gi protein-associated A3 adenosine receptor (A3AR) is a member of the adenosine receptor family. Selective agonists at the A3AR, such as CF101 and CF102 were found to induce anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. In this study, we examined the differential effect of CF102 in pathological conditions of the liver. The anti-inflammatory protective effect of CF101 was tested in a model of liver inflammation induced by Concanavalin A (Con. A) and the anti-cancer effect of CF102 was examined in vitro and in a xenograft animal model utilizing Hep-3B hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. The mechanism of action was explored by following the expression levels of key signaling proteins in the inflamed and tumor liver tissues, utilizing Western blot (WB) analysis. In the liver inflammation model, CF102 (100μg/kg) markedly reduced the secretion of serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase and serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase in comparison to the vehicle-treated group. Mechanistically, CF102 treatment decreased the expression level of phosphorylated glycogen synthase kinase-3β, NF-κB, and TNF-α and prevented apoptosis in the liver. This was demonstrated by decreased expression levels of Fas receptor (FasR) and of the pro-apoptotic proteins Bax and Bad in liver tissues. In addition, CF102-induced apoptosis of Hep-3B cells both in vitro and in vivo via de-regulation of the PI3K-NF-κB signaling pathway, resulting in up-regulation of pro-apoptotic proteins. Taken together, CF102 acts as a protective agent in liver inflammation and inhibits HCC tumor growth. These results suggest that CF102 through its differential effect is a potential drug candidate to treat various pathological liver conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2438-2447
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


FundersFunder number
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney DiseasesZIADK031117


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