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Gynecol Oncol. 2007 May;105(2):373-84. Epub 2007 Feb 5.

Anticancer and chemosensitizing effects of 2,3-DCPE in ovarian carcinoma cell lines: link with ERK activation and modulation of p21WAF1/CIP1, Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL expression.

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  • 1Groupe Régional d'Etudes sur le Cancer (EA 1772, Université de Caen Basse-Normandie), Unité Biologie et Thérapies Innovantes des Cancers Localement Agressifs, Centre de Lutte Contre le Cancer François Baclesse, Caen, France.



Emergence of chemoresistance in the course of treatments with platinum drugs remains a major hurdle to ovarian carcinoma therapy. We have previously shown that acquisition of cisplatin resistance by OAW42-R ovarian carcinoma cells was associated with the loss of ERK activation in response to cisplatin. To try to sensitize this cell line by restoring ERK activation, we tested a new synthetic compound, 2[[3-(2,3-dichlorophenoxy)propyl]amino]ethanol (2,3-DCPE), which was described to induce ERK activation and to display anticancer properties.


We treated four ovarian carcinoma cell lines with 2,3-DCPE, alone or combined with cisplatin. We characterized its effects on apoptosis induction and proliferation and correlated them with molecular modulations.


We showed that 2,3-DCPE induced cell death and ERK phosphorylation in a time- and concentration-dependent manner in OAW42-R cells. 2,3-DCPE-triggered apoptosis was also associated with the inhibition of Bcl-2 expression and, to a less extent, with that of Bcl-xL. Treatment with 2,3-DCPE also elicited a strong G0/G1 cell cycle arrest, accompanied with p21WAF1/CIP1 up-regulation. All of these effects revealed to be irreversible. Moreover, 2,3-DCPE exerted a cytostatic effect on OAW42, IGROV1-R10 and SKOV3 ovarian carcinoma cells, the sensitivity to 2,3-DCPE appearing in particular linked with a low basal level of P-ERK. Finally, we showed that 2,3-DCPE increased the cytotoxic effect of cisplatin in OAW42-R resistant cells.


Our results emphasized the potential interest of 2,3-DCPE, used alone or combined with cisplatin, for ovarian carcinoma treatment. The absence of basal P-ERK may constitute a predictive marker of response to this novel therapy.

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