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Mol Cancer Ther. 2007 Apr;6(4):1249-61. Epub 2007 Apr 3.

Activation of a novel ataxia-telangiectasia mutated and Rad3 related/checkpoint kinase 1-dependent prometaphase checkpoint in cancer cells by diallyl trisulfide, a promising cancer chemopreventive constituent of processed garlic.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


Diallyl trisulfide (DATS), a cancer chemopreventive constituent of garlic, inhibits growth of cancer cells by interfering with cell cycle progression, but the mechanism is not fully understood. Here, we show the existence of a novel ataxia-telangiectasia mutated and Rad3 related (ATR)/checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1)-dependent checkpoint partially responsible for DATS-mediated prometaphase arrest in cancer cells, which is different from the recently described gamma irradiation-induced mitotic exit checkpoint. The PC-3 human prostate cancer cells synchronized in prometaphase by nocodazole treatment and released to DATS-containing medium remained arrested in prometaphase, whereas the cells released to normal medium exited mitosis and resumed cell cycle. The mitotic arrest was maintained even after 4 h of culture of DATS-treated cells (4-h treatment) in drug-free medium. The DATS-arrested mitotic cells exhibited accumulation of anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) substrates cyclin A and cyclin B1 and hyperphosphorylation of securin, which was accompanied by increased phosphorylation of the APC/C regulatory subunits Cdc20 and Cdh1. The DATS-mediated accumulation of cyclin B1 and hyperphosphorylation of securin, Cdc20, and Cdh1 were partially but markedly attenuated by knockdown of Chk1 or ATR protein. The U2OS osteosarcoma cells expressing doxycycline-inducible kinase dead ATR were significantly more resistant not only to DATS-mediated prometaphase arrest but also to the accumulation of cyclin B1 and hyperphosphorylation of securin, Cdc20, and Cdh1 compared with cells expressing wild-type ATR. However, securin protein knockdown failed to rescue cells from DATS-induced prometaphase arrest. In conclusion, the present study describes a novel signaling pathway involving ATR/Chk1 in the regulation of DATS-induced prometaphase arrest.

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