Author(s): Planchon SM, Wuerzberger S, Frydman B, Witiak DT, Hutson P,
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Abstract beta-Lapachone and certain of its derivatives directly bind and inhibit topoisomerase I (Topo I) DNA unwinding activity and form DNA-Topo I complexes, which are not resolvable by SDS-K+ assays. We show that beta-lapachone can induce apoptosis in certain cells, such as in human promyelocytic leukemia (HL-60) and human prostate cancer (DU-145, PC-3, and LNCaP) cells, as also described by Li et al. (Cancer Res., 55: 0000-0000, 1995). Characteristic 180-200-bp oligonucleosome DNA laddering and fragmented DNA-containing apoptotic cells via flow cytometry and morphological examinations were observed in 4 h in HL-60 cells after a 4-h, > or = 0.5 microM beta-lapachone exposure. HL-60 cells treated with camptothecin or topotecan resulted in greater apoptotic DNA laddering and apoptotic cell populations than comparable equitoxic concentrations of beta-lapachone, although beta-lapachone was a more effective Topo I inhibitor. beta-Lapachone treatment (4 h, 1-5 microM) resulted in a block at G0/G1, with decreases in S and G2/M phases and increases in apoptotic cell populations over time in HL-60 and three separate human prostate cancer (DU-145, PC-3, and LNCaP) cells. Similar treatments with topotecan or camptothecin (4 h, 1-5 microM) resulted in blockage of cells in S and apoptosis. Thus, beta-lapachone causes a block in G0/G1 of the cell cycle and induces apoptosis in cells before, or at early times during, DNA synthesis. These events are p53 independent, since PC-3 and HL-60 cells are null cells, LNCaP are wild-type, and DU-145 contain mutant p53, yet all undergo apoptosis after beta-lapachone treatment. Interestingly, beta-lapachone treatment of p53 wild type-containing prostate cancer cells (i.e., LNCaP) did not result in the induction of nuclear levels of p53 protein, as did camptothecin-treated cells. Like other Topo I inhibitors, beta-lapachone may induce apoptosis by locking Topo I onto DNA, blocking replication fork movement, and inducing apoptosis in a p53-independent fashion. beta-Lapachone and its derivatives, as well as other Topo I inhibitors, have potential clinical utility alone against human leukemia and prostate cancers.
This article was published in Cancer Res
and referenced in Medicinal & Aromatic Plants