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Cancer Res. 2006 Sep 1;66(17):8731-9.

A small-molecule inhibitor of Bcl-XL potentiates the activity of cytotoxic drugs in vitro and in vivo.

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Global Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Illinois 60064, USA.


Inhibition of the prosurvival members of the Bcl-2 family of proteins represents an attractive strategy for the treatment of cancer. We have previously reported the activity of ABT-737, a potent inhibitor of Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L), and Bcl-w, which exhibits monotherapy efficacy in xenograft models of small-cell lung cancer and lymphoma and potentiates the activity of numerous cytotoxic agents. Here we describe the biological activity of A-385358, a small molecule with relative selectivity for binding to Bcl-X(L) versus Bcl-2 (K(i)'s of 0.80 and 67 nmol/L for Bcl-X(L) and Bcl-2, respectively). This compound efficiently enters cells and co-localizes with the mitochondrial membrane. Although A-385358 shows relatively modest single-agent cytotoxic activity against most tumor cell lines, it has an EC(50) of <500 nmol/L in cells dependent on Bcl-X(L) for survival. In addition, A-385358 enhances the in vitro cytotoxic activity of numerous chemotherapeutic agents (paclitaxel, etoposide, cisplatin, and doxorubicin) in several tumor cell lines. In A549 non-small-cell lung cancer cells, A-385358 potentiates the activity of paclitaxel by as much as 25-fold. Importantly, A-385358 also potentiated the activity of paclitaxel in vivo. Significant inhibition of tumor growth was observed when A-385358 was added to maximally tolerated or half maximally tolerated doses of paclitaxel in the A549 xenograft model. In tumors, the combination therapy also resulted in a significant increase in mitotic arrest followed by apoptosis relative to paclitaxel monotherapy.

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