Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Cancer Res. 2011 May 1;17(9):2830-41. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-3168. Epub 2011 Mar 17.

PRIMA-1Met/APR-246 induces apoptosis and tumor growth delay in small cell lung cancer expressing mutant p53.

Author information

Department of Radiation Biology, The Finsen Centre, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.



Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a highly malignant disease with poor prognosis, necessitating the need to develop new and efficient treatment modalities. PRIMA-1(Met) (p53-dependent reactivation of massive apoptosis), also known as APR-246, is a small molecule, which restores tumor suppressor function to mutant p53 and induces cancer cell death in various cancer types. Since p53 is mutated in more than 90% of SCLC, we investigated the ability of PRIMA-1(Met) to induce apoptosis and inhibit tumor growth in SCLC with different p53 mutations.


The therapeutic effect of PRIMA-1(Met)/APR-246 was studied in SCLC cells in vitro using cell viability assay, fluorescence-activated cell-sorting analysis, p53 knockdown studies, and Western blot analyses. The antitumor potential of PRIMA-1(Met)/APR-246 was further evaluated in two different SCLC xenograft models.


PRIMA-1(Met)/APR-246 efficiently inhibited the growth of the SCLC cell lines expressing mutant p53 in vitro and induced apoptosis, associated with increased fraction of cells with fragmented DNA, caspase-3 activation, PARP cleavage, Bax and Noxa upregulation and Bcl-2 downregulation in the cells. The growth suppressive effect of PRIMA-1(Met)/APR-246 was markedly reduced in SCLC cell lines transfected with p53 siRNA, supporting the role of mutant p53 in PRIMA-1(Met)/APR-246-induced cell death. Moreover, in vivo studies showed significant antitumor effects of PRIMA-1(Met) after i.v. injection in SCLC mouse models with no apparent toxicity.


This study is the first to show the potential use of p53-reactivating molecules such as PRIMA-1(Met)/APR-246 for the treatment of SCLC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center