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PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e20729. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020729. Epub 2011 Jun 6.

Experimental therapy of ovarian cancer with synthetic makaluvamine analog: in vitro and in vivo anticancer activity and molecular mechanisms of action.

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Key Laboratory of Nutrition and Metabolism, Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.


The present study was designed to determine the biological effects of novel marine alkaloid analog 7-(4-fluorobenzylamino)-1,3,4,8-tetrahydropyrrolo[4,3,2-de]quinolin-8(1H)-one (FBA-TPQ) on human ovarian cancer cells for its anti-tumor potential and the underlying mechanisms as a novel chemotherapeutic agent. Human ovarian cancer cells (A2780 and OVCAR-3), and Immortalized non-tumorigenic human Ovarian Surface Epithelial cells (IOSE-144), were exposed to FBA-TPQ for initial cytotoxicity evaluation (via MTS assay kit, Promega). The detailed in-vitro (cell level) and in-vivo (animal model) studies on the antitumor effects and possible underlying mechanisms of action of the compounds were then performed. FBA-TPQ exerted potent cytotoxicity against human ovarian cancer A2780 and OVCAR-3 cells as an effective inhibitor of cell growth and proliferation, while exerting lesser effects on non-tumorigenic IOSE-144 cells. Further study in the more sensitive OVCAR-3 cell line showed that it could potently induce cell apoptosis (Annexin V-FITC assay), G2/M cell cycle arrest (PI staining analysis) and also dose-dependently inhibit OVCAR-3 xenograft tumors' growth on female athymic nude mice (BALB/c, nu/nu). Mechanistic studies (both in vitro and in vivo) revealed that FBA-TPQ might exert its activity through Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)-associated activation of the death receptor, p53-MDM2, and PI3K-Akt pathways in OVCAR-3 cells, which is in accordance with in vitro microarray (Human genome microarrays, Agilent) data analysis (GEO accession number: GSE25317). In conclusion, FBA-TPQ exhibits significant anticancer activity against ovarian cancer cells, with minimal toxicity to non-tumorigenic human IOSE-144 cells, indicating that it may be a potential therapeutic agent for ovarian cancer.

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