Equinatoxin II Potentiates Temozolomide- And Etoposide-Induced Glioblastoma Cell Death.

Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, CCS - Bloco F, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 21949-590, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. .
Current topics in medicinal chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.47). 11/2012; DOI: 10.2174/156802612804910250
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Glioblastoma (GBM) is considered incurable due to its resistance to current cancer treatments. So far, all clinically available alternatives for treating GBM are limited, evoking the development of novel treatment strategies that can more effectively manage these tumors. Extensive effort is being dedicated to characterize the molecular basis of GBM resistance to chemotherapy and to explore novel therapeutic procedures that may improve overall survival. Cytolysins are toxins that form pores in target cell membranes, modifying ion homeostasis and leading to cell death. These pore-forming toxins might be used, therefore, to enhance the efficiency of conventional chemotherapeutic drugs, facilitating their entrance into the cell. In this study, we show that a non-cytotoxic concentration of equinatoxin II (EqTx-II), a pore-forming toxin from the sea anemone Actinia equina, potentiates the cytotoxicity induced by temozolomide (TMZ), a first-line GBM treatment, and to etoposide (VP-16), a second- or third-line GBM treatment. We also suggest that this effect is selective to GBM cells and occurs via PI3K/Akt pathway inhibition. Finally, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed that a non-cytotoxic concentration of EqTx-II potentiates the VP-16-induced inhibition of GBM growth in vivo. These combination therapies constitute a new and potentially valuable tool for GBM treatment, leading to the requirement of lower concentrations of chemotherapeutic drugs and possibly reducing, therefore, the adverse effects of chemotherapy.