The polyamines transport system (PTS) is usually enhanced in cancer cells and can be exploited to deliver anticancer drugs. The spermine-conjugated epipodophyllotoxin derivative F14512 is a topoisomerase II poison that exploits the PTS to target preferentially tumor cells. F14512 has been characterized as a potent anticancer drug candidate and is currently in phase 1 clinical trials. Here we have analyzed the mechanisms of cell death induced by F14512, compared to the parent drug etoposide lacking the polyamine tail. F14512 proved to be >30-fold more cytotoxic than etoposide against A549 non-small cell lung cancer cells and triggers less but unrecoverable DNA damages. The cytotoxic action of F14512 is extremely rapid (within 3 h) and does not lead to a marked accumulation in the S-phase of the cell cycle, unlike etoposide. Interestingly, A549 cells treated with F14512 were less prone to undergo apoptosis (neither caspases-dependent nor caspases-independent pathways) or autophagy but preferentially entered into senescence. Drug-induced senescence was characterized qualitatively and quantitatively by an increased ?-galactosidase activity, both by cytochemical staining and by flow cytometry. A morphological analysis by electron microscopy revealed the presence of numerous multi-lamellar and vesicular bodies and large electron-lucent (methuosis-like) vacuoles in F14512-treated cell samples. The mechanism of drug-induced cell death is thus distinct for F14512 compared to etoposide, and this difference may account for their distinct pharmacological profiles and the markedly superior activity of F14512 in vivo. This study suggests that senescence markers should be considered as potential pharmacodynamic biomarkers of F14512 antitumor activity.
Triptolide, a natural product extracted from the Chinese plant Tripterygium wilfordii, possesses antitumor properties. Despite numerous reports showing the proapoptotic capacity and the inhibition of NF-kappaB-mediated transcription by triptolide, the identity of its cellular target is still unknown. To clarify its mechanism of action, we further investigated the effect of triptolide on RNA synthesis in the human non-small cell lung cancer cell line A549. Triptolide inhibited both total RNA and mRNA de novo synthesis, with the primary action being on the latter pool. We used 44K human pan-genomic DNA microarrays and identified the genes primarily affected by a short treatment with triptolide. Among the modulated genes, up to 98% are down-regulated, encompassing a large array of oncogenes including transcription factors and cell cycle regulators. We next observed that triptolide induced a rapid depletion of RPB1, the RNA polymerase II main subunit that is considered a hallmark of a transcription elongation blockage. However, we also show that triptolide does not directly interact with the RNA polymerase II complex nor does it damage DNA. We thus conclude that triptolide is an original pharmacologic inhibitor of RNA polymerase activity, affecting indirectly the transcription machinery, leading to a rapid depletion of short-lived mRNA, including transcription factors, cell cycle regulators such as CDC25A, and the oncogenes MYC and Src. Overall, the data shed light on the effect of triptolide on transcription, along with its novel potential applications in cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia, which is in part driven by the aforementioned oncogenic factors.
The anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) is a validated target for the therapy of different malignancies. Aberrant expression of constitutively active ALK chimeric proteins has been implicated in the pathogenesis of anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) and has been detected in other cancers such as inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors, diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, certain non-small-cell lung cancers, rhabdomyosarcomas, neuroblastomas and glioblastomas. In the course of a screening program aimed at identifying kinase inhibitors with novel scaffolds, the two pyridoisoquinoline derivatives F91873 and F91874, were identified as multikinase inhibitors with activity against ALK in a biochemical screen. F91873 and F91874 also inhibited nucleophosmin-ALK and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 phosphorylation in the ALCL cell line COST with the same potency. Both F91873 and F91874 behaved as ATP noncompetitive inhibitors and inhibited cell proliferation of the ALK(+) ALCL cell lines COST, PIO, and Karpas299 ALCL. This growth inhibition effect was associated with a G1-phase cell cycle arrest. Furthermore, administration of F91874 to severe combined immunodeficient mice bearing COST tumor xenografts resulted in a significant antitumor efficacy at 15 mg/kg/day, illustrating the potential utility of such compounds in the treatment of ALK-related pathologies.
The synthesis of a series of conjugated spermine derivatives with benzoxadiazole, phenylxanthene or bodipy fluorophores is described. These fluorescent probes were used to identify the activity of the polyamine transport system (PTS). N(1)-Methylspermine NBD conjugate 5 proved to have the optimal fluorescence characteristics and was used to show a selectivity for PTS-proficient CHO versus PTS-deficient CHO-MG cells. It can therefore be used as a tool for the selection of cells sensitive to cytotoxic compounds vectored through the PTS.
Metastatic melanoma is the most aggressive skin cancer. Recently, phenotypically distinct subpopulations of tumor cells were identified. Among them, ABCB5-expressing cells were proposed to display an enhanced tumorigenicity with stem cell-like properties. In addition, ABCB5(+) cells are thought to participate to chemoresistance through a potential efflux function of ABCB5. Nevertheless, the fate of these cells upon drugs that are used in melanoma chemotherapy remains to be clarified. Here we explored the effect of anti-melanoma treatments on the ABCB5-expressing cells. Using a melanoma xenograft model (WM266-4), we observed in vivo that ABCB5-expressing cells are enriched after a temozolomide treatment that induces a significant tumor regression. These results were further confirmed in a preliminary study conducted on clinical samples from patients that received dacarbazine. In vitro, we showed that ABCB5-expressing cells selectively survive when exposed to dacarbazine, the reference treatment of metastatic melanoma, but also to vemurafenib, a new inhibitor of the mutated kinase V600E BRAF and other various chemotherapeutic drugs. Our results show that anti-melanoma chemotherapy might participate to the chemoresistance acquisition by selecting tumor cell subpopulations expressing ABCB5. This is of particular importance in understanding the relapses observed after anti-melanoma treatments and reinforces the interest of ABCB5 and ABCB5-expressing cells as potential therapeutic targets in melanoma.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.