Author(s): Townsend DM, He L, Hutchens S, Garrett TE, Pazoles CJ,
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Abstract NOV-002 is a novel glutathione disulfide mimetic that when administered in combination with standard chemotherapeutic regimens has resulted in increased efficacy (survival, tumor response) and improved tolerance to chemotherapy (e.g., hematologic recovery) in advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients. We show that NOV-002, which is not cytotoxic as a single agent, generated time- and concentration-dependent oxidative signals at the cell surface (reduction in protein thiols) and intracellularly [altered oxidized glutathione (GSSG) and reduced glutathione levels and ratio; increased reactive oxygen species] in the premyeloid HL-60 cell line and that this was associated with an increase in S-glutathionylation of cell proteins, particularly actin. Commensurate with these effects, NOV-002 activated p38, c-Jun-NH(2)-kinase, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase and caused a dose-dependent increase in phosphorylation of three proteins that have previously been linked with hematopoiesis, AKT, JAK2, and STAT5. The effect of NOV-002 on enzymes involved in glutathione metabolism was evaluated. Relative to oxidized glutathione, NOV-002 was an equivalent substrate for glutathione reductase and was an inhibitor of protein disulfide isomerase, one of the components of the redox-sensitive unfolded protein response pathway. These redox-stimulated cell signaling actions occurred in the context of increased HL-60 cell proliferation after treatment with NOV-002. Overall, the pleiotropic pharmacologic effects of NOV-002 can be attributed to the GSSG component of the drug, and modulation of cellular redox balance is a feature central to the mechanism of action of NOV-002. Such modulation may underlie its clinical actions, including hematologic recovery and immunostimulation in the face of chemosuppression.
This article was published in Cancer Res
and referenced in Journal of Cell Signaling