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Chemotherapy. 2007;53(3):210-7. Epub 2007 Mar 15.

Sulfasalazine-induced reduction of glutathione levels in breast cancer cells: enhancement of growth-inhibitory activity of Doxorubicin.

Author information

1
College of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We previously showed that the anti-inflammatory drug, sulfasalazine (salicylazosulfapyridine, SASP), can arrest proliferation of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 mammary cancer cells by inhibiting uptake of cystine via the x(c-) cystine/glutamate antiporter. Here we examined SASP with regard to reduction of cellular glutathione (GSH) levels and drug efficacy-enhancing ability.

METHODS:

GSH levels were measured spectrophotometrically. Cellular drug retention was determined with 3H-labeled methotrexate, and drug efficacy with a colony formation assay.

RESULTS:

Incubation of the mammary cancer cells with SASP (0.3-0.5 mM) led to reduction of their GSH content in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Similar to MK-571, a multidrug resistance-associated protein inhibitor, SASP increased intracellular accumulation of methotrexate. Preincubation of cells with SASP (0.3 mM) significantly enhanced the potency of the anticancer agent doxorubicin (2.5 nM).

CONCLUSIONS:

SASP-induced reduction of cellular GSH levels can lead to growth arrest of mammary cancer cells and enhancement of anticancer drug efficacy.

PMID:
17356269
DOI:
10.1159/000100812
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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