International journal of molecular sciences

Danusertib Induces Apoptosis, Cell Cycle Arrest, and Autophagy but Inhibits Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition Involving PI3K/Akt/mTOR Signaling Pathway in Human Ovarian Cancer Cells.

PMID 26580601


Ovarian carcinoma (OC) is one of the most common gynecological malignancies, with a poor prognosis for patients at advanced stage. Danusertib (Danu) is a pan-inhibitor of the Aurora kinases with unclear anticancer effect and underlying mechanisms in OC treatment. This study aimed to examine the cancer cell killing effect and explore the possible mechanisms with a focus on proliferation, cell cycle progression, apoptosis, autophagy, and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in human OC cell lines C13 and A2780cp. The results showed that Danu remarkably inhibited cell proliferation, induced apoptosis and autophagy, and suppressed EMT in both cell lines. Danu arrested cells in G₂/M phase and led to an accumulation of polyploidy through the regulation of the expression key cell cycle modulators. Danu induced mitochondria-dependent apoptosis and autophagy in dose and time-dependent manners. Danu suppressed PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, evident from the marked reduction in the phosphorylation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR, contributing to the autophagy inducing effect of Danu in both cell lines. In addition, Danu inhibited EMT. In aggregate, Danu exerts potent inducing effect on cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and autophagy, but exhibits a marked inhibitory effect on EMT. PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway contributes, partially, to the cancer cell killing effect of Danu in C13 and A2780cp cells.