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PLoS One. 2013 Apr 9;8(4):e60253. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060253. Print 2013.

Re-directing an alkylating agent to mitochondria alters drug target and cell death mechanism.

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1
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

We have successfully delivered a reactive alkylating agent, chlorambucil (Cbl), to the mitochondria of mammalian cells. Here, we characterize the mechanism of cell death for mitochondria-targeted chlorambucil (mt-Cbl) in vitro and assess its efficacy in a xenograft mouse model of leukemia. Using a ρ° cell model, we show that mt-Cbl toxicity is not dependent on mitochondrial DNA damage. We also illustrate that re-targeting Cbl to mitochondria results in a shift in the cell death mechanism from apoptosis to necrosis, and that this behavior is a general feature of mitochondria-targeted Cbl. Despite the change in cell death mechanisms, we show that mt-Cbl is still effective in vivo and has an improved pharmacokinetic profile compared to the parent drug. These findings illustrate that mitochondrial rerouting changes the site of action of Cbl and also alters the cell death mechanism drastically without compromising in vivo efficacy. Thus, mitochondrial delivery allows the exploitation of Cbl as a promiscuous mitochondrial protein inhibitor with promising therapeutic potential.

PMID:
23585833
PMCID:
PMC3621862
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0060253
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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