Anticancer research

Attenuation of Colchicine Toxicity in Drug-resistant Cancer Cells by Co-treatment with Anti-malarial Drugs.

PMID 27793909


Colchicine (COL) is a well-known and potent microtubule targeting anticancer agent. The purpose of our study was to identify conditions that increase sensitization of COL-resistant cancer cells that overexpress P-glycoprotein (P-gp). The anti-malarial drugs chloroquine (CHL), mefloquine (MEF) and primaquine (PRI) have been shown to increase sensitization in drug-resistant KBV20C cells via P-gp inhibition. Therefore, we tested whether co-treatment of COL with PRI, CHL or MEF increases sensitivity in COL-resistant KBV20C cells over that of cells treated with COL alone and whether these effects are attributable to P-gp activity. Interestingly, we found that both CHL and PRI, but not MEF, reduced cytotoxicity in KBV20C cells receiving high concentrations of COL, suggesting that the effects of CHL and PRI have specific mechanisms among the anti-malarial drugs. The effects of CHL and PRI were specific to COL-resistant cells, since we did not detect a reduction in cytotoxicity in drug-sensitive parent KB cells. These data suggest that CHL and PRI inhibit the signaling pathways of COL-treated-resistant cells without P-gp inhibition. Furthermore, we studied the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of COL-CHL co-treatment in KBV20C cells. FACS analysis, annexin V staining and western blot analysis revealed that G2 arrest and apoptosis were lower in cells co-treated with COL and CHL than in cells treated with COL alone. We also found that pH2AX, pHistone H3 and pRb expression was highly reduced in COL-CHL co-treated cells but not in COL-VIB co-treated cells. In addition, expression of the p21 protein, which correlates with drug-resistant phenotypes, increased in cells receiving COL-CHL co-treatment over that of COL-treated cells. These results suggest that reduced G2 arrest and apoptosis resulting from COL-CHL co-treatment was attributable to DNA damage and reduced cell cycle progression. These findings provide important information regarding the prevention of COL toxicity in COL-resistant cells and indicate that CHL, PRI and MEF may contribute to sensitization in COL-resistant cells.

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Adenosine 5′-diphosphoribose sodium salt, ≥93%