[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Redox-sensitive signaling factors regulate multiple cellular processes, including proliferation, cell cycle, and prosurvival signaling cascades, suggesting their potential as molecular targets for anticancer agents. It is logical to set constraints that a molecular target should meet at least one of the following criteria: (1) inhibition of prosurvival signaling pathways; (2) inhibition of cell cycle progression; or (3) enhancement of the cytotoxic effects of anticancer agents. Therefore, we hypothesized that thioredoxin reductase 1 (TR), a component of several redox-regulated pathways, might represent a potential molecular target candidate in response to agents that induce oxidative stress. To address this issue, permanent cell lines overexpressing either the wild-type (pCXN2-myc-TR-wt) or a Cys-Ser mutant (pCXN2-myc-mTR) TR gene were used, as were parental HeLa cells treated with 1-methyl-1-propyl-2-imidazolyl disulfide (IV-2), a pharmacologic inhibitor of TR. Cells were exposed to the oxidative stressors, H2O2 and ionizing radiation (IR), and analyzed for changes in signal transduction, cell cycle, and cytotoxicity. Analysis of HeLa cells overexpressing the pCXN2-myc-TR-wt gene showed increased basal activity of nuclear factor kappaB (NFkappaB) and activator protein (AP-1), whereas HeLa cells expressing a pCXN2-myc-mTR gene and HeLa cells treated with IV-2 were unable to induce NFkappaB or AP-1 activity following H2O2 or IR exposure. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis showed a marked accumulation of pCXN2-myc-mTR cells in the late G1 phase, whereas pCXN2-myc-TR-wt cells showed a decreased G1 subpopulation. Chemical inhibition of TR with IV-2 also completely inhibited cellular proliferation at concentrations between 10 and 25 micromol/L, resulting in a G1 phase cell cycle arrest consistent with the results from cells expressing the pCXN2-myc-mTR gene. Following exposure to H2O2 and IR, pCXN2-myc-mTR- and IV-2-treated cells were significantly more sensitive to oxidative stress-induced cytotoxicity as measured by clonogenic survival assays. Finally, IV-2-treated cells showed increased tumor cell death when treated with H2O2 and IR. These results identify TR as a potential target to enhance the cytotoxic effects of agents that induce oxidative stress, including IR.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ansamycin antibiotics inhibit function of the heat shock protein (HSP) 90, causing selective degradation of several intracellular proteins regulating such processes as proliferation, cell cycle regulation, and prosurvival signaling cascades. HSP90 has been identified previously as a molecular target for anticancer agents, including ionizing radiation (IR). Therefore, we hypothesized that the ansamycin geldanamycin and its 17-allylamino-17-demethoxy analog (17-AAG), which inhibit HSP90, would enhance tumor cell susceptibility to the cytotoxicity of IR. Treatment of two human cervical carcinoma cell lines (HeLa and SiHa) with geldanamycin and 17-AAG resulted in cytotoxicity and, when combined with IR, enhanced the radiation response, each effect with a temporal range from 6 to 48 h after drug exposure. In addition, mouse in vivo models using 17-AAG at clinically achievable concentrations yielded results that paralleled the in vitro radiosensitization studies of both single and fractioned courses of irradiation. The increase in IR-induced cell death appears to be attributable to a combination of both programmed and nonprogrammed cell death. We also measured total levels of several prosurvival and apoptotic signaling proteins. Akt1, extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1, Glut-1, HER-2/neu, Lyn, cAMP-dependent protein kinase, Raf-1, and vascular endothelial growth factor expression were down-regulated in 17-AAG-treated cells, identifying these factors as molecular markers and potential therapeutic targets. Finally, a series of immortalized and human papillomavirus-transformed cell lines were used to demonstrate that the radiosensitizing effects of 17-AAG were limited to transformed cells, suggesting a possible differential cytotoxic effect. This work shows that altered HSP90 function induces significant tumor cytotoxicity and radiosensitization, suggesting a potential therapeutic utility.