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Mutagenesis. 2017 Oct 17;32(5):517-524. doi: 10.1093/mutage/gex022.

Inhibition of survivin expression after using oxaliplatin and vinflunine to induce cytogenetic damage in vitro in lymphocytes from colon cancer patients and healthy individuals.

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University of Bradford, Biomedical Sciences, Richmond Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD7 1DP, UK.
Bradford Royal Infirmary, Bradford Hospitals NHS Trust, Duckworth Lane BD9 6RJ,UK.
York St John University, Biomedical Science, Lord Mayor's Walk, York, North Yorkshire YO31 7EX, UK.


Chemotherapy drugs usually inflict a lethal dose to tumour cells with the consequence that these cells are being killed by cell death. However, each round of chemotherapy also causes damage to normal somatic cells. The DNA cross-linking agent oxaliplatin (OXP), which causes DNA double-strand breaks, and vinflunine (VFN), which disrupts the mitotic spindle, are two of these chemotherapy drugs which were evaluated in vitro using peripheral lymphocytes from colorectal cancer patients and healthy individuals to determine any differential response. Endpoints examined included micronucleus (MN) induction using the cytokinesis-blocked micronucleus (CBMN) assay and pancentromeric fluorescence in situ hybridisation. Also, survivin expression was monitored since it regulates the mitotic spindle checkpoint and inhibits apoptosis. OXP produced cytogenetic damage (micronuclei in binucleated cells) via its clastogenic but also previously unknown aneugenic action, possibly through interfering with topoisomerase II, whilst VFN produced micronuclei in mononucleated cells because of incomplete karyokinesis. Survivin expression was found to be significantly reduced in a concentration-dependent manner by not only OXP but surprisingly also VFN. This resulted in large numbers of multinucleated cells found with the CBMN assay. As survivin is upregulated in cancers, eliminating apoptosis inhibition might provide a more targeted chemotherapy approach; particularly, when considering VFN, which only affects cycling cells by inhibiting their mitotic spindle, and alongside possibly other pro-apoptotic compounds. Hence, these newly found properties of VFN -the inhibition of survivin expression-might demonstrate a promising chemotherapeutic approach as VFN induces less DNA damage in normal somatic cells compared to other chemotherapeutic compounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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