Telomeres are nucleoprotein structures at the ends of chromosomes that are composed of a repetitive G rich sequence and telomeric binding proteins. Telomeres prevent the degradation of chromosomal ends and protect against inappropriate recombination. Telomere attrition involves a tumor suppressor pathway that limits the replication of premalignant cells. The loss of telomeric DNA with each round of replication leads to growth arrest accompanied by senescence or apoptosis. Many tumor cells activate the telomerase gene to bypass senescence.
Telomeres are elongated by the enzyme telomerase, which contains a template-bearing RNA (TER or TERC) and a protein reverse transcriptase. Overexpression of a particular mutant human TER with a mutated template sequence (MT-hTer-47A) in telomerase-positive cancer cells causes incorporation of mutant telomeric sequences, telomere uncapping, and initiation of a DNA damage response, ultimately resulting in cell growth inhibition and apoptosis. The DNA damage pathways underlying these cellular effects are not well understood.
The anti-malarial artesunate (ART) also inhibits the growth of cancer cells. The active moiety is an endoperoxide bridge whose cleavage generates reactive oxygen species and free radicals. We analyzed whether glutathione-related enzymes contribute to tumor resistance to ART and to the low toxicity of ART towards normal organs.
BACKGROUND: A major obstacle for successful cancer treatment often is the development of drug resistance in cancer cells during chemotherapy. Therefore, there is an urgent need for novel drugs with improved efficacy against tumor cells and with less toxicity on normal cells. Artesunate (ART), a powerful anti-malarial herbal compound, has been shown to inhibit growth of various tumor cell lines in vitro and of xenografted Kaposi's sarcoma in mice in vivo. However, the molecular mechanisms by which ART exerts its cytotoxicity have not been elucidated.
The anti-malarial artesunate also exerts profound anti-cancer activity. The susceptibility of tumor cells to artesunate can be enhanced by ferrous iron. The transferrin receptor (TfR) is involved in iron uptake by internalization of transferrin and is over-expressed in rapidly growing tumors. The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters ABCB6 and ABCB7 are also involved in iron homeostasis.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Artemisinin is an antimalarial drug exerting pleiotropic effects, such as the inhibition of the transcription factor nuclear factor-kappa B and of the sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(++)-ATPase (SERCA) of P. falciparum.
Development of novel therapy strategies is one of the major pressing topics of clinical oncology to overcome drug resistance of tumors. Artesunate (ART) is an anti-malarial drug, which also exerts profound cytotoxic activity towards cancer cells. We applied a gene-hunting approach using microarray-based transcriptome-wide mRNA expression profiling and COMPARE analyses. We identified a set of genes, whose expression was associated either with high IC50 values or low IC50 values for ART.
Cytotoxic activity of artemisinin and derivatives in the presence and absence of holo-transferrin and expression of genes involved in resistance of cancer cells were investigated in human cholangiocarcinoma (CL-6) and hepatocarcinoma (Hep-G2) cell lines in vitro. After incubation with the test drugs and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) cytotoxicity was asessed by MTT assay.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in industrialized countries. Systemic treatment of breast cancer is effective at the beginning of therapy. However, after a variable period of time, progression occurs due to therapy resistance. Artesunate, clinically used as anti-malarial agent, has recently revealed remarkable anti-tumor activity offering a role as novel candidate for cancer chemotherapy. We analyzed the anti-tumor effects of artesunate in metastasizing breast carcinoma in vitro and in vivo.
Clinical Cancer Research: An Official Journal of the American Association for Cancer Research
PURPOSE: Pancreatic cancer is the fourth cause of death from cancer in the western world. Majority of patients present with advanced unresectable disease responding poorly to most chemotherapeutic agents. Chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer might be improved by adjusting it to individual genetic profiles. We attempt to identify genetic predictors of chemosensitivity to broad classes of anticancer drugs.