The iron-chelating drug triapine causes pronounced mitochondrial thiol redox stress

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.
Toxicology Letters (Impact Factor: 3.36). 03/2011; 201(2):130-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2010.12.017
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Triapine (Tp) is an iron chelator with activity against several types of cancer. Iron-Tp [Fe(III)(Tp)(2)] can be redox-cycled to generate reactive oxygen species that may contribute to its cytotoxicity. However, evidence for this mechanism in cells is limited. The cytosolic and mitochondrial thioredoxins (Trx1 and Trx2, respectively) are essential for cell survival. They are normally maintained in the reduced state, and support the function of many intracellular proteins including the peroxiredoxins (Prxs). Their redox status can indicate oxidant stress in their respective subcellular compartments. Tp treatment of human lung A549 cells caused almost complete oxidation of Trx2 and its dependent peroxiredoxin (Prx3), but there was no effect on Trx1 redox status. Significant inhibition of total TrxR activity did not occur until Tp levels were 4-fold above those needed to cause Trx2 oxidation. While Tp caused a 36-45% decline in reduced glutathione (GSH) levels, GSH accounted for >99% of the total glutathione in the absence and presence of Tp. In vitro studies demonstrated that cysteine reduces Fe(III)(Tp)(2) to Fe(II)(Tp)(2), and cysteine was faster and more efficient than reduced glutathione (GSH) in this regard. Fe(III)(Tp)(2) also mediated the oxidation of purified Trx2 in vitro. Thus, Fe(III)(Tp)(2) itself, and/or various reactive species that may result from its redox cycling, could account for Trx2 and Prx3 oxidation in Tp-treated cells. The striking difference between the effects on Trx2 and Trx1 implies a pronounced thiol redox stress that is largely directed at the mitochondria. These previously unrecognized effects of Tp could contribute to its overall cytotoxicity.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Iron-based compounds possess the capability of inducing cell death due to their reactivity with oxidant molecules, but their specificity towards cancer cells and the mechanism of action are hitherto less investigated. A Fe(salen)Cl derivative has been synthesized that remains active in monomer form. The efficacy of this compound as an anti-tumor agent has been investigated in mouse and human leukemia cell lines. Fe(salen)Cl induces cell death specifically in tumor cells and not in primary cells. Mouse and human T-cell leukemia cell lines, EL4 and Jurkat cells are found to be susceptible to Fe(salen)Cl and undergo apoptosis, but normal mouse spleen cells and human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) remain largely unaffected by Fe(salen)Cl. Fe(salen)Cl treated tumor cells show significantly higher expression level of cytochrome c that might have triggered the cascade of reactions leading to apoptosis in cancer cells. A significant loss of mitochondrial membrane potential upon Fe(salen)Cl treatment suggests that Fe(salen)Cl induces apoptosis by disrupting mitochondrial membrane potential and homeostasis, leading to cytotoxity. We also established that apoptosis in the Fe(salen)Cl-treated tumor cells is mediated through caspase-dependent pathway. This is the first report demonstrating that Fe(salen)Cl can specifically target the tumor cells, leaving the primary cells least affected, indicating an excellent potential for this compound to emerge as a next-generation anti-tumor drug.
    Cell Biology International 05/2014; DOI:10.1002/cbin.10308 · 1.64 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Iron is essential for the growth and proliferation of cells, as well as for many biological processes that are important for the maintenance and survival of the human body. However, excess iron is associated with the development of cancer and other pathological conditions, due in part to the pro-oxidative nature of iron and its damaging effects on DNA. Current studies suggest that iron depletion may be beneficial for patients that have diseases associated with iron overload or other iron metabolism disorders that may increase the risk for cancer. On the other hand, studies suggest that cancer cells are more vulnerable to the effects of iron depletion and oxidative stress in comparison to normal cells. Therefore, cancer patients might benefit from treatments that alter both iron metabolism and oxidative stress. This review highlights the pro-oxidant effects of iron, the relationship between iron and cancer development, the vulnerabilities of iron-dependent cancer phenotype, and how these characteristics may be exploited to prevent or treat cancer.
    Advances in Free Radical Biology & Medicine 05/2014; 79. DOI:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2014.04.035
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The antimycotic ciclopirox olamine is an intracellular iron chelator that has anticancer activity in vitro and in vivo. We developed an oral formulation of ciclopirox olamine and conducted the first-in-human phase I study of this drug in patients with relapsed or refractory hematologic malignancies (Trial registration ID: NCT00990587). Patients were treated with 5-80 mg/m(2) oral ciclopirox olamine once daily for five days in 21-day treatment cycles. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic companion studies were performed in a subset of patients. Following definition of the half-life of ciclopirox olamine, an additional cohort was enrolled and treated with 80 mg/m(2) ciclopirox olamine four times daily. Adverse events and clinical response were monitored throughout the trial. Twenty-three patients received study treatment. Ciclopirox was rapidly absorbed and cleared with a short half-life. Plasma concentrations of an inactive ciclopirox glucuronide metabolite were greater than those of ciclopirox. Repression of survivin expression was observed in peripheral blood cells isolated from patients treated once daily with ciclopirox olamine at doses greater than 10 mg/m(2) , demonstrating biological activity of the drug. Dose-limiting gastrointestinal toxicities were observed in patients receiving 80 mg/m(2) four times daily, and no dose limiting toxicity was observed at 40 mg/m(2) once daily. Hematologic improvement was observed in two patients. Once-daily dosing of oral ciclopirox olamine was well tolerated in patients with relapsed or refractory hematologic malignancies, and further optimization of dosing regimens is warranted in this patient population.
    American Journal of Hematology 04/2014; 89(4). DOI:10.1002/ajh.23640 · 3.48 Impact Factor