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ABSTRACT: Sapphyrins are pentapyrrolic metal-free expanded porphyrins with potential medical use as anticancer agents. The novel sapphyrin derivative, PCI-2050, functionalized with 2-[2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethoxy]ethoxy groups to enhance solubility and a modified bipyrrole moiety was found to be more potent in inducing apoptosis than the previously described sapphyrin PCI-2000. Because some sapphyrins may localize to tumors, we took advantage of the intrinsic fluorescence of these compounds to develop a flow cytometry-based assay to track sapphyrin biodistribution in tumor-bearing mice. Ex vivo analysis of sapphyrin-injected animals revealed that PCI-2050 preferentially localized to tumor, whereas PCI-2000 distributed into normal tissues rather than tumor. PCI-2050 uptake in xenograft tumor cells and resultant tumor cell cytotoxicity was dose dependent. To investigate structure-activity relationships, we focused on PCI-2050 and three derivatives that differ by their alkyl substituents on the bipyrrole moiety: PCI-2051, PCI-2052, and PCI-2053. Treatment of Ramos cells in culture or treatment of Ramos xenograft-bearing animals with each of the sapphyrins followed by ex vivo growth of tumor cells revealed the same pattern of cytotoxicity: PCI-2050 > PCI-2052 > PCI-2051 > PCI-2053. Thus, subtle changes in the alkyl substituents on the bipyrrole moiety result in significant changes in antitumor activity. PCI-2050 displayed significant antitumor efficacy in both Ramos and RKO xenograft models without hematologic, hepatic, or renal abnormalities as assessed by complete blood counts and serum chemistries. On the basis of these findings, it is concluded that the sapphyrin PCI-2050 warrants further evaluation as a potential anticancer agent due to its intrinsic proapoptotic activity and tumor localization ability.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 11/2006; 5(11):2798-805. DOI:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-06-0246 · 5.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sapphyrins are pentapyrrolic, metal-free, expanded porphyrins. In the present study, the activity of sapphyrins as anticancer agents in hematopoietic-derived tumor cells was explored. It was found that a dihydroxylated water-soluble sapphyrin derivative (PCI-2000) is a potent inducer of apoptosis in a wide variety of tumor cell lines including lymphoma (Ramos, DHL-4, and HF-1), leukemia (Jurkat and HL-60), and myeloma (8226/S, 1-310, C2E3, and 1-414). PCI-2000 triggers an apoptotic pathway in these tumor cells as shown by release of cytochrome c from mitochondria; activation of caspases 9, 8, and 3; cleavage of the caspase substrate poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase; and Annexin V binding. Apoptosis can be partially inhibited by overexpression of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 or treatment with benzyloxycarbonyl-valine-alanine-aspartic acid-fluoromethylketone, a cell-permeable caspase inhibitor. Both PCI-2000 and PCI-2010, a tetrahydroxy bis-carbamate derivative of PCI-2000, result in increased levels of phosphorylated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. Inhibition of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation resulted in a synergistic increase of PCI-2000 cytotoxicity. PCI-2010 showed less toxicity in mice than PCI-2000 and was active in slowing the growth of Ramos and HL-60 tumor xenografts in nude mice. These results provide preclinical rationale for the further study of sapphyrins for potential use in the treatment of hematopoietic-derived tumors.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 07/2005; 4(6):968-76. DOI:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-04-0339 · 5.68 Impact Factor
EJC Supplements 09/2004; 2(8):41-42. DOI:10.1016/S1359-6349(04)80136-8 · 9.39 Impact Factor