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Chem Biol Interact. 2008 Nov 25;176(2-3):165-72. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2008.07.005. Epub 2008 Jul 30.

Anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effect of CPT13, a novel camptothecin analog, on human colon cancer HCT8 cell line.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Forest Plant Ecology, Northeast Forestry University, Ministry of Education, Harbin 150040, China.


10-(2-pyrazolyl-ethoxy)-(20S)-camptothecin (CPT13) is a novel semi-synthetic analogue of camptothecin, our previous report had shown that it possessed higher in vitro cytoxicity activity towards human colon cancer HCT8 cell line than topotecan. In this study, the anti-proliferative effect of CPT13 on HCT8 cell line in vitro was analyzed. In order to further explore the underlying mechanism of cell growth inhibition of CPT13 towards HCT8 cell line, the cell cycle distribution, apoptosis proportion, the nuclei morphological changes and caspase-8 and caspase-3 activities were measured. Additionally the changes of mitochondrial morphology and membrane potential (DeltaPsim) were analyzed by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and flow cytometry, respectively. The results showed that CPT13 inhibited HCT8 cell growth by causing cell cycle arrest at G2/M transition and induced apoptosis, as evidenced by the typical apoptotic morphology such as condensation and fragmentation of nuclei and formation of apoptotic bodies. The changes of mitochondrial morphology, dose-dependently decrease in DeltaPsim and the enhancement of caspase-8 and caspase-3 activities were observed in different concentrations of drug treatment group. Our results suggest that CPT13 induces apoptosis by alternations of mitochondrial transmembrane depolarization, activation of caspase-8 and caspase-3. Therefore, CPT13 appears to be a potent drug against human colon cancer via induction of apoptosis and may be used as an alternative drug to therapy cancer.

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