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Int J Oncol. 2014 Jan;44(1):167-76. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2013.2160. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

A novel anthracene derivative, MHY412, induces apoptosis in doxorubicin-resistant MCF-7/Adr human breast cancer cells through cell cycle arrest and downregulation of P-glycoprotein expression.

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College of Pharmacy, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735, Republic of Korea.


New potential chemotherapeutic strategies are required to overcome multidrug resistance (MDR) in cancer. This study investigated the anticancer effect of a novel anthracene derivative MHY412 on doxorubicin-resistant human breast cancer (MCF-7/Adr) cells. We measured cell viability and the expression of apoptosis-related genes; in addition, the antitumor activity of MHY412 was confirmed using an in vivo tumor xenograft model. MHY412 significantly inhibited the proliferation of MCF-7/Adr and MCF-7 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Notably, the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of MHY412 in MCF-7/Adr (0.15 µM) and MCF-7 (0.26 µM) cells were lower than those of doxorubicin (MCF-7/Adr, 13.6 µM and MCF-7, 1.26 µM) after treatment for 48 h. MHY412 at low concentrations induced S phase arrest, but at high concentrations, the number of MCF-7/Adr cells in the sub-G1 phase significantly increased. MHY412-induced sub-G1 phase arrest was associated with inhibition of cyclin, cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) and p21 expression in MCF-7/Adr cells. MHY412 markedly reduced P-glycoprotein (P-gp) expression and increased apoptotic cell death in MCF-7/Adr cells. Cleavage of poly-ADP ribose polymerase, reduced Bcl-2 expression, and increased in cytochrome c release in MCF-7/Adr cells confirmed the above results. In addition, MHY412 markedly inhibited tumor growth in a tumor xenograft model of MCF-7/Adr cells. Our data suggest that MHY412 exerts antitumor effects by selectively modulating the genes related to cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. In particular, MHY412 is a new candidate agent for the treatment of Bcl-2 overexpressed doxorubicin-resistant human breast cancer.

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