The glutathione transferase inhibitor 6-(7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-ylthio)hexanol (NBDHEX) increases temozolomide efficacy against malignant melanoma

Department of Neuroscience, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.
European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) (Impact Factor: 4.82). 05/2011; 47(8):1219-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejca.2010.12.008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT First line treatment of metastatic melanoma includes the methylating agent dacarbazine or its analogue temozolomide (TMZ) with improved pharmacokinetics and tolerability. However, the prognosis of the metastatic disease is poor and several trials are evaluating TMZ in polychemotherapy protocols. The novel glutathione transferase P1-1 (GSTP1-1) inhibitor 6-(7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-ylthio)hexanol (NBDHEX) has recently shown activity against melanoma through c-Jun N-terminal kinase activation. In this study we have investigated the in vitro and in vivo efficacy of NBDHEX and TMZ combination against melanoma. The results indicated that NBDHEX and TMZ exerted in vitro synergistic anti-proliferative effects in murine B16 and human A375 melanoma cells. In B16 cells TMZ as single agent caused cell accumulation at the G(2)/M phase of cell cycle, whereas NBDHEX induced mainly apoptotic effects. NBDHEX provoked a higher level of p53 phosphorylation with respect to TMZ and the drug combination caused a more than additive increase of p53 activation. The in vivo efficacy of NBDHEX and TMZ has been investigated in an orthotopic B16 model. Treatment with NBDHEX provoked a reduction of tumour growth comparable to that obtained with TMZ, whereas the drug combination significantly increased tumour growth inhibition with respect to the single agents, without worsening TMZ myelotoxicity. Immunohistochemical analysis of tumour grafts revealed a profound reduction of Cyclin D1 and CD31 in all treatment groups; VEGF expression was, instead, markedly decreased only in NBDHEX or NBDHEX and TMZ treated samples. These findings indicate that NBDHEX represents a good candidate for combination therapies including TMZ, offering new perspectives for the treatment of melanoma.

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    ABSTRACT: Malignant glioma is a severe type of brain tumor with a poor prognosis and few options for therapy. The main chemotherapy protocol for this type of tumor is based on temozolomide (TMZ), albeit with limited success. Cisplatin is widely used to treat several types of tumor and, in association with TMZ, is also used to treat recurrent glioma. However, several mechanisms of cellular resistance to cisplatin restrict therapy efficiency. In that sense, enhanced DNA repair, high glutathione levels and functional p53 have a critical role on cisplatin resistance. In this work, we explored several mechanisms of cisplatin resistance in human glioma. We showed that cellular survival was independent of the p53 status of those cells. In addition, in a host-cell reactivation assay using cisplatin-treated plasmid, we did not detect any difference in DNA repair capacity. We demonstrated that cisplatin-treated U138MG cells suffered fewer DNA double-strand breaks and DNA platination. Interestingly, the resistant cells carried higher levels of intracellular glutathione. Thus, preincubation with the glutathione inhibitor buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) induced massive cell death, whereas N-acetyl cysteine, a precursor of glutathione synthesis, improved the resistance to cisplatin treatment. In addition, BSO sensitized glioma cells to TMZ alone or in combination with cisplatin. Furthermore, using an in vivo model the combination of BSO, cisplatin and TMZ activated the caspase 3-7 apoptotic pathway. Remarkably, the combined treatment did not lead to severe side effects, while causing a huge impact on tumor progression. In fact, we noted a remarkable threefold increase in survival rate compared with other treatment regimens. Thus, the intracellular glutathione concentration is a potential molecular marker for cisplatin resistance in glioma, and the use of glutathione inhibitors, such as BSO, in association with cisplatin and TMZ seems a promising approach for the therapy of such devastating tumors.Cell Death and Disease (2014) 5, e1505; doi:10.1038/cddis.2014.465; published online 30 October 2014.
    Cell Death & Disease 10/2014; 5:e1505. DOI:10.1038/cddis.2014.465 · 5.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recovery of mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) or activation of alternative pathways, such as the PI3K/AKT/mTOR, are involved in acquired resistance to BRAF inhibitors which represent the first-line treatment of BRAF-mutated metastatic melanoma. We recently demonstrated that 6-((7-nitrobenzo[c][1,2,5]oxadiazol-4-yl)thio)hexan-1-ol (NBDHEX) and its water soluble analogue 2-(2-(2-((7-nitrobenzo[c][1,2,5]oxadiazol-4-yl)thio)ethoxy)ethoxy)ethanol (MC3181) trigger apoptosis in BRAF V600E mutated melanoma cells through activation of the MAPK c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Herein, we investigated whether NBDHEX and MC3181 might exert antitumor activity against BRAF V600E mutated human melanoma cells rendered resistant to the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib. To this aim we generated a subline of A375 melanoma resistant in vitro and in vivo to vemurafenib (A375-VR8) and characterized by NRAS G13R mutation, high basal levels of CRAF protein and phospho-activation of AKT. In these cells ERK phosphorylation was not significantly down-modulated by vemurafenib concentrations capable of abrogating ERK phosphorylation in sensitive A375 cells. Both NBDHEX and MC3181 induced marked antiproliferative and apoptotic effects in A375-VR8 cells and, at equitoxic concentrations, caused a strong phosphorylation of JNK, p38, and of the downstream mediators of apoptosis ATF2 and p53. Drug treatment further increased ERK phosphorylation, which was required for the cellular response to the NBD derivatives, as apoptosis was antagonized by the ERK inhibitor FR180204. Finally, in vivo administration of MC3181 provoked JNK activation at the tumor site and markedly reduced A375-VR8 growth. These evidences strongly suggest that the activation of multiple pro-apoptotic MAPK pathways by MC3181 might represent a new strategy for the treatment of melanoma resistant to BRAF inhibitors. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Biochemical pharmacology 03/2015; 95(1). DOI:10.1016/j.bcp.2015.03.004 · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We designed and synthesized two novel nitrobenzoxadiazole (NBD) analogues of the anticancer agent 6-((7-nitrobenzo[c][1,2,5]oxadiazol-4-yl)thio)hexan-1-ol (NBDHEX). The new compounds, namely MC3165 and MC3181, bear one and two oxygen atoms within the hydroxy-containing alkyl chain at the C4 position of the NBD scaffold, respectively. This insertion did not alter the chemical reactivity with reduced glutathione, while it conferred a remarkable increase in water solubility. MC3181 was more selective than NBDHEX towards the target protein, glutathione transferase P1-1, and highly effective in vitro against a panel of human melanoma cell lines, with IC50 in the submicromolar-low micromolar range. Interestingly, the cellular response to MC3181 was cell-type-specific; the compound triggered a JNK-dependent apoptosis in the BRAF-V600E-mutated A375 cells, while it induced morphological changes together with an increase in melanogenesis in BRAF wild-type SK23-MEL cells. MC3181 exhibited a remarkable therapeutic activity against BRAF-V600E-mutant xenografts, both after intravenous and oral administration. Outstandingly, no treatment-related signs of toxicity were observed both in healthy and tumor-bearing mice after single and repeated administrations. Taken together, these results indicate that MC3181 may represent a potential novel therapeutic opportunity for BRAF-mutated human melanoma, while being safe and water-soluble and thus overcoming all the critical aspects of NBDHEX in vivo.
    Oncotarget 12/2014; · 6.63 Impact Factor