[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: New semisynthetic derivatives of betulinic acid (BA) RS01, RS02 and RS03 with 18-45 times improved cytotoxic activity against HepG2 cells, were tested for their ability to induce apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in HepG2, HeLa and Jurkat cells. All the compounds induced significant increase in the population at the S phase more effectively than BA. RS01, RS02 and RS03 were also found to be potent inducers of apoptosis with RS01 being markedly more potent than BA, suggesting that the introduction of the imidazolyl moiety is crucial for enhancing the induction of apoptosis and the cell cycle arrest. The mechanism of apoptosis induction has been studied in HepG2 cells and found to be mediated by activation of the postmitochondrial caspases-9 and -3 cascade and possibly by mitochondrial amplification loop involving caspase-8. These facts were corroborated by detection of mitochondrial cytochrome c release and DNA fragmentation. Because RS01, RS02 and RS03 exhibited significant improved antitumor activity with respect to BA, they may be promising new agents for the treatment of cancer. In particular, RS01 is the most promising compound with an IC(50) value 45 times lower than BA on HepG2 cells and 61 times lower than the one found for the non-tumoral Chang liver cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phenazine 5,10-dioxides (PDOs) are a new class of bioreductive cytotoxins, which could act towards tumours containing hypoxic regions. The PDOs selective-hypoxic bioreduction was probed in vitro; however, the mechanism of action has not been completely explained. Besides, PDOs in vivo antitumour activities have not been demonstrated hitherto. We study the mechanism of hypoxic/normoxic cytotoxicity of PDO representative members. Electron spin resonance is used to confirm (•)OH production, alkaline comet assay to determine genotoxicity, and gel electrophoresis and flow cytometry to analyze DNA fragmentation and cell cycle distribution. Chemically induced rat breast tumours are employed to evaluate in vivo activities. For the most selective cytotoxin, 7(8)-bromo-2-hydroxyphenazine 5,10-dioxide (PDO1), exclusive hypoxic (•)OH production is evidenced, while for the unselective ones, (•)OH is produced in both conditions (normoxia and simulated hypoxia). In normoxia (Caco-2 cells), PDO1 induces cell-cycle arrest and DNA fragmentation but does not significantly induce apoptosis neither at IC(50) nor IC(80). No difference in the comet-assay scores are observed in normoxia and simulated hypoxia being the unselective 2-amino-7(8)-bromophenazine 5,10-dioxide (PDO2) the most genotoxic. The in vivo efficacy with the absence of systemic toxicity of PDO1 and PDO2 is checked out. Results from this study highlight the potential of PDOs as new therapeutics for cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phenazine 5,10-dioxides are prodrugs for antitumor therapy that undergo hypoxic-selective bioreduction to form cytotoxic species. Here we investigate the expanded system benzo[a]phenazine 7,12-dioxides as selective hypoxic cytotoxin-scaffold. The clonogenic survival of V79 cells on aerobic and anaerobic conditions, conduct us to study antiproliferative activity on Caco-2 tumoral cells in normoxia. Electrochemical, DNA-interaction and DNA-damage studies were performed to establish the mode of action. The results demonstrated the potential biological properties of the studied scaffold being derivatives 6-10 structural hits for further chemical-modifications to become into therapeutics for solid tumors. Compounds 6 and 8 with cytotoxicity against V79 cells in both conditions (aerobia and anaerobia) were also cytotoxic against Caco-2 tumoral cells in aerobiosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Some anticancer compounds are pro-drugs which give rise to toxic species through enzymatic reduction. The quinoxaline-di-N-oxide derivative Q-85 HCl (7-chloro-3-[[(N,N-dimethylamino)propyl]amino]-2-quinoxalinecarbonitrile 1,4-di-N-oxide hydrochloride) is a bioreductive compound selectively toxic in hypoxia. Due to the possibility of secondary tumors the study of the genotoxic capability of antitumoral drugs is very important. The aim of this study was to assess the ability of Q-85 HCl to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative DNA damage in Caco-2 cells, both in hypoxia and in well-oxygenated conditions. Secondly, we attempted to evaluate the effect of vitamins C and E under hypoxic and normoxic conditions, in order to determine if these antioxidant substances modify Q-85 HCl effect in hypoxic cells or possibly exert a protective action in normal cells. Caco-2 cells were treated with Q-85 HCl for 2h, at high concentrations in normoxia (0.1-5 microM) and at low concentrations in hypoxia (0.002-0.1 microM). In normoxia, a dose-related significant increase in intracellular ROS level was evident; in hypoxia all the concentrations produced very high level of ROS. Just after the treatment and 24h later, oxidative DNA damage was evaluated by the modified comet assay after post-digestion of the cells with formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase (FPG) and endonuclease III (Endo III). Q-85 HCl treatment evoked a significant dose-dependent increase in the total comet score of the cells both in hypoxia and normoxia, indicating that this compound or some metabolite is able to oxidize purine and pyrimidine bases. After 24h DNA damage caused by the compound was completely repaired with only one exception: cells treated with the highest concentration of Q-85 HCl in hypoxia and post-digested with FPG. Vitamin C (5-100 microM) and vitamin E (500-400 microM) did not have a pro-oxidant effect in Caco-2 cells. Treatment of cells with vitamin C (10 microM) or vitamin E (100 microM) did not significantly reduce oxidative DNA damage in hypoxia and normoxia. In conclusion, the use of these vitamins would not hinder toxicity against hypoxic cells, but a protective effect in normoxic cells was not evident.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fractionation of the cyclohexane extract from the stem bark powder of Zanthoxylum madagascariense led to the isolation of a new benzophenanthridine-type alkaloid, hydrochloride of 2,3-methylendioxy-8-hydroxy- 7-methoxy-benzo[C]phenanthridine (Rutaceline), characterized on the basis of its spectral data. Rutaceline was evaluated for its antiproliferative capacity on the human colorectal adenocarcinoma (Caco-2) and the African green monkey kidney (Vero) cell lines. The 50% inhibition of cell growth (IC50) obtained after 24 h incubation was similar for both cells lines (110-115 microg/ml, i.e. 269-281 microM), but at 48 h the IC50 value for the Caco-2 cells was lower than for the Vero cells (20 microg/lml, i.e. 49 microM versus 90 microg/ml, i.e. 220 microM) indicating a higher cell growth inhibitory effect on the colon adenocarcinoma cells. At the respective IC50 concentrations, Rutaceline did not significantly induce apoptosis but induced cell cycle arrest in the GO/G1 phase, as well as a decrease of cells in S phase. Rutaceline also induced DNA fragmentation in both cell lines, as revealed by agarose gel electrophoresis, and a dose-dependent clastogenic effect in both cell lines as revealed by the Comet assay.
In vivo (Athens, Greece) 01/2007; 21(2):417-22. · 1.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The DNA damage induced by 7-chloro-3-[[(N,N-dimethylamino)propyl]amino]-2-quinoxalinecarbonitrile 1,4-di-N-oxide hydrochloride (Q-85 HCl) in Caco-2 cells under hypoxic and well-oxygenated conditions has been studied by using the comet assay. This compound has shown a good in vitro profile of high selective toxicity in hypoxia, but its mechanism of action is unknown. The DNA damage has been evaluated by performing the comet assay after a 2-h treatment with Q-85 HCl (0.1, 0.2, 0.4 microM in hypoxia; 20, 40 microM in well-oxygenated conditions). The number of cells in apoptosis has also been assessed by flow cytometry analysis of Annexin V-FITC staining. The capability of the cells to repair the DNA damage and the proliferation rate was evaluated at different times after the treatment (24-168 h). Under hypoxic conditions, a clear dose-dependent increase in the number of nuclei with a comet was observed (comet score: 132 +/- 13, 343 +/- 30 and 399 +/- 1; control comet score: 42 +/- 14). Under well-oxygenated conditions, the number of nuclei with comet increased significantly with respect to the control (comet score: 273 +/- 14 and 312 +/- 9; control comet score: 27 +/- 4). Cells in apoptosis were not detected by the comet assay nor by flow cytometry. The recovery from DNA damage was time- and concentration-dependent in hypoxia (cells treated with the highest concentration still showed DNA damage after 72 h) and rather time-dependent in well-oxygenated conditions (DNA was completely repaired after 24 h). In conclusion, Q-85 HCl acts by DNA damage and not only the reduced intermediate is genotoxic but also some other derivatives and Q-85 HCl itself may be acting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The presence of hypoxic cells in human solid tumours is one of the causes of tumour resistance to conventional therapy, and is also associated with processes that promote the tumour progression. Different chemical agents have been designed in order to take advantage of the particular metabolic characteristics of hypoxic regions. These drugs, called bioreductive agents, are activated inside the hypoxic cells to give active species that, in the presence of oxygen, are oxidised back to the non-toxic parent compound. Several quinoxaline 1,4-di-N-oxides have been described as potential bioreductive agents, and among them, 7-cloro-3-[[(N,N-dimethylamino)propy]amino]-2-quinoxalinecarbonitrile 1,4-di-N-oxide hydrocloride (Q-85 HCl) appeared to be the most promising one. In the present work, the selective cytotoxicity of Q-85 HCl was studied in several human tumour cell lines of different origin (Caco2, MCF-7, HT-29 and Tk-10). Cell viability was calculated after 2 h treatment under hypoxic and well-oxygenated conditions. The potency (the concentration that gives 1% of cell survival) in hypoxia and hypoxia cytotoxicity ratio (HCR = potency in oxygenated conditions/potency in hypoxia) were calculated after a 14-day clonogenic assay. Q-85 HCl was more toxic in hypoxia than in well-oxygenated cells in all the tumour cell lines. The best profile of potency in hypoxia (0.4 micromol/L) and selectivity (HCR=155) was found in CaCo-2 cells. Altogether, these results suggest an in vitro biological profile for Q-85 HCl that makes it an interesting candidate for the development as a bioreductive agent.