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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(3), 3277-3290; doi:10.3390/ijms13033277

A Combined DNA-Affinic Molecule and N-Mustard Alkylating Agent Has an Anti-Cancer Effect and Induces Autophagy in Oral Cancer Cells

1,2,* , 3
Received: 2 November 2011 / Revised: 7 January 2012 / Accepted: 21 February 2012 / Published: 9 March 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Although surgery or the combination of chemotherapy and radiation are reported to improve the quality of life and reduce symptoms in patients with oral cancer, the prognosis of oral cancer remains generally poor. DNA alkylating agents, such as N-mustard, play an important role in cancer drug development. BO-1051 is a new 9-anilinoacridine N-mustard-derivative anti-cancer drug that can effectively target a variety of cancer cell lines and inhibit tumorigenesis in vivo. However, the underlying mechanism of BO-1051-mediated tumor suppression remains undetermined. In the present study, BO-1051 suppressed cell viability with a low IC50 in oral cancer cells, but not in normal gingival fibroblasts. Cell cycle analysis revealed that the tumor suppression by BO-1051 was accompanied by cell cycle arrest and downregulation of stemness genes. The enhanced conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II and the formation of acidic vesicular organelles indicated that BO-1501 induced autophagy. The expression of checkpoint kinases was upregulated as demonstrated with Western blot analysis, showing that BO-1051 could induce DNA damage and participate in DNA repair mechanisms. Furthermore, BO-1051 treatment alone exhibited a moderate tumor suppressive effect against xenograft tumor growth in immunocompromised mice. Importantly, the combination of BO-1051 and radiation led to a potent inhibition on xenograft tumorigenesis. Collectively, our findings demonstrated that BO-1051 exhibited a cytotoxic effect via cell cycle arrest and the induction of autophagy. Thus, the combination of BO-1051 and radiotherapy may be a feasible therapeutic strategy against oral cancer in the future.
Keywords: BO-1051; AVO; autophagy; cell cycle; checkpoint kinases BO-1051; AVO; autophagy; cell cycle; checkpoint kinases
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Lo, W.-L.; Chu, P.-Y.; Lee, T.-H.; Su, T.-L.; Chien, Y.; Chen, Y.-W.; Huang, P.-I.; Tseng, L.-M.; Tu, P.-H.; Kao, S.-Y.; Lo, J.-F. A Combined DNA-Affinic Molecule and N-Mustard Alkylating Agent Has an Anti-Cancer Effect and Induces Autophagy in Oral Cancer Cells. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 3277-3290.

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