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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2011 Feb;336(2):313-20. doi: 10.1124/jpet.110.174904. Epub 2010 Oct 20.

The nitric oxide prodrug JS-K is effective against non-small-cell lung cancer cells in vitro and in vivo: involvement of reactive oxygen species.

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SAIC-Frederick, Inc, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD 21702, USA.


Non-small-cell lung cancer is among the most common and deadly forms of human malignancies. Early detection is unusual, and there are no curative therapies in most cases. Diazeniumdiolate-based nitric oxide (NO)-releasing prodrugs are a growing class of promising NO-based therapeutics. Here, we show that O(2)-(2,4-dinitrophenyl)-1-[(4-ethoxycarbonyl)piperazin-1-yl]diazen-1-ium-1,2-diolate (JS-K) is a potent cytotoxic agent against a subset of human non-small-cell lung cancer cell lines both in vitro and as xenografts in mice. JS-K treatment led to 75% reduction in the growth of H1703 lung adenocarcinoma cells in vivo. Differences in sensitivity to JS-K in different lung cancer cell lines seem to be related to their endogenous levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS)/reactive nitrogen species (RNS). Other related factors, levels of peroxiredoxin 1 (PRX1) and 8-oxo-deoxyguanosine glycosylase (OGG1), also correlated with drug sensitivity. Treatment of the lung adenocarcinoma cells with JS-K resulted in oxidative/nitrosative stress in cells with high basal levels of ROS/RNS, which, combined with the arylating properties of the compound, was reflected in glutathione depletion and alteration in cellular redox potential, mitochondrial membrane permeabilization, and cytochrome c release. Inactivation of manganese superoxide dismutase by nitration was associated with increased superoxide and significant DNA damage. Apoptosis followed these events. Taken together, the data suggest that diazeniumdiolate-based NO-releasing prodrugs may have application as a personalized therapy for lung cancers characterized by high levels of ROS/RNS. PRX1 and OGG1 proteins, which can be easily measured, could function as biomarkers for identifying tumors sensitive to the therapy.

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