A G-quadruplex-interactive potent small-molecule inhibitor of telomerase exhibiting in vitro and in vivo antitumor activity
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The telomerase complex is responsible for telomere maintenance and represents a promising cancer therapeutic target. We describe herein the antitelomerase and antitumor properties of a small-molecule compound designed by computer modeling to interact with and stabilize human G-quadruplex DNA, a structure that may form with telomeric DNA, thereby inhibiting access to telomerase. The 3,6,9-trisubstituted acridine 9-[4-(N,N-dimethylamino) phenylamino]-3,6-bis(3-pyrrolodinopropionamido) acridine (BRACO19) represents one of the most potent cell-free inhibitors of human telomerase yet described (50% inhibitory concentration of 115+/-18 nM). Moreover, in contrast to G-quadruplex interactive agents described previously, BRACO19 did not cause nonspecific acute cytotoxicity at similar concentrations to those required to completely inhibit telomerase activity. There exists a 90-fold differential (mean 50% inhibitory concentration for acute cell kill across seven human tumor cell lines of 10.6+/-0.7 muM). The exposure of 21NT human breast cancer cells, which possess relatively short telomeres, to nonacute cytotoxic concentrations of BRACO19 (2 muM) resulted in a marked reduction in cell growth after only 15 days. This was concomitant with a reduction in intracellular telomerase activity and onset of senescence as indicated by an increase in the number of beta-galactosidase positive-staining cells. Intraperitoneal administration of nontoxic doses of BRACO19 (2 mg/kg) to mice bearing advanced stage A431 human vulval carcinoma subcutaneous xenografts and previously treated with paclitaxel induced a significant increase in antitumor effect compared with that observed with paclitaxel alone. BRACO19 thus represents the first of a “second generation” of G-quadruplex-mediated telomerase/telomere-interactive compounds. It possesses nanomolar potency against telomerase but low nonspecific cytotoxicity, growth inhibitory effects, and induction of senescence in a human breast cancer cell line and, moreover, significant antitumor activity in vivo when administered post paclitaxel to mice bearing a human tumor xenograft carcinoma.
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Cancer Pharmacology & Stress Response (CPSR)
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MOLECULAR PHARMACOLOGY, 2002, 61 pp. 1154 - 1162
AMER SOC PHARMACOLOGY EXPERIMENTAL THERAPEUTICS