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Cellular pharmacology of azatoxins (topoisomerase-II and tubulin inhibitors) in P-glycoprotein-positive and -negative cell lines

Abstract : Azatoxin (NSC 640737), a synthetic molecule, was rationally designed as a topoisomerase-II inhibitor and was shown to be a potent cytotoxic agent that inhibits both tubulin and topoisomerase II. A structure-activity relationship study allowed to select 3 derivatives that inhibit either tubulin (methylazatoxin) only or topoisomerase II (fluoroanilinoazatoxin and nitroanilino-azatoxin) in MTT assays performed on K562 and K562/ADM cells; the latter, expressing P-glycoprotein, indicated cross-resistance of K562/ADM cells to all 4 compounds. DNA double-strand breaks induced by the 3 azatoxins that inhibit topoisomerase II in vitro were decreased in K562/ADM as compared with K562 cells. Nitroanilino-azatoxin was the only compound for which resistance and reduced DNA damage observed in K562/ADM cells was partially reversed by verapamil, suggesting that nitroanilinoazatoxin was a substrate for P-glycoprotein. These results were confirmed by testing the cytotoxic activity of azatoxins on P-glycoprotein-expressing rat colon-carcinoma DHDK12/TRb cells in the absence and the presence of verapamil. Cell-cycle and mitotic-index studies indicated that azatoxin- and methyl-azatoxin-induced M-phase arrest was less in K562/ADM than in K562 cells. The G2 block induced by fluoro- and nitroanilinoazatoxins was delayed in K562/ADM cells. Verapamil increased cell-cycle inhibition induced by nitroanilinoazatoxin in K562/ADM cells without modifying cell-cycle effects of fluoroanilinoazatoxin. These results (i) are consistent with the specific inhibition of topoisomerase II or tubulin by azatoxin derivatives in cells; (ii) indicate that the nitro group of nitroanilinoazatoxin allows recognition and efflux by the P-glycoprotein; and (iii) suggest that cross-resistance of K562/ADM cells to other azatoxin derivatives is not mediated by P-glycoprotein.
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Béatrice Eymin, Eric Solary, Sylvie Chevillard, Laurence Dubrez, François Goldwasser, et al.. Cellular pharmacology of azatoxins (topoisomerase-II and tubulin inhibitors) in P-glycoprotein-positive and -negative cell lines. International Journal of Cancer, Wiley, 1995, 63 (2), pp.268-275. ⟨10.1002/ijc.2910630221⟩. ⟨inserm-02345528⟩



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