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Cancer Lett. 2009 Sep 18;282(2):214-28. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2009.03.018. Epub 2009 Apr 11.

High sensitivity of ovarian cancer cells to the synthetic triterpenoid CDDO-Imidazolide.

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Department of Hematology, Oncology and Molecular Medicine, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy.


In the present study we have explored the sensitivity of ovarian cancer cells to the synthetic triterpenoid CDDO-Imidazolide (CDDO-Im). For these studies we have used the A2780 ovarian cancer cell line and its chemoresistant derivatives A2780/ADR and A2780/CISP, OVCAR3, SKOV3 and HEY cancer cell lines and primary ovarian cancer cells, providing evidence that: (i) the majority of these cell lines are highly sensitive to the pro-apoptotic effects induced by CDDO-Im; (ii) TRAIL, added alone exerted only a weak proapoptotic, but clearly potentiated the cytotoxic effect elicited by CDDO-Im; (iii) the apoptotic effect induced by CDDO-Im involves GSH depletion, c-FLIP downmodulation and caspase-8 activation; (iv) CDDO-Im inhibits STAT3 activation and CDDO-Im sensitivity is inversely related to the level of constitutive STAT3 activation. Importantly, studies on primary ovarian cancer cells have shown that these cells are sensitive to the pro-apoptotic effects of CDDO-Im. These observations support the experimental use of synthetic triterpenoids in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

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