Papaverine and its derivatives radiosensitize solid tumors by inhibiting mitochondrial metabolism.
ABSTRACT: Tumor hypoxia reduces the effectiveness of radiation therapy by limiting the biologically effective dose. An acute increase in tumor oxygenation before radiation treatment should therefore significantly improve the tumor cell kill after radiation. Efforts to increase oxygen delivery to the tumor have not shown positive clinical results. Here we show that targeting mitochondrial respiration results in a significant reduction of the tumor cells' demand for oxygen, leading to increased tumor oxygenation and radiation response. We identified an activity of the FDA-approved drug papaverine as an inhibitor of mitochondrial complex I. We also provide genetic evidence that papaverine's complex I inhibition is directly responsible for increased oxygenation and enhanced radiation response. Furthermore, we describe derivatives of papaverine that have the potential to become clinical radiosensitizers with potentially fewer side effects. Importantly, this radiosensitizing strategy will not sensitize well-oxygenated normal tissue, thereby increasing the therapeutic index of radiotherapy.
Project description:Background and Purpose: The anti-diabetic biguanide drugs metformin and phenformin exhibit antitumor activity in various models. However, their radiomodulatory effect under hypoxic conditions, particularly for phenformin, is largely unknown. This study therefore examines whether metformin and phenformin as mitochondrial complex I blockades could overcome hypoxic radioresistance through inhibition of oxygen consumption. Materials and Methods: A panel of colorectal cancer cells (HCT116, DLD-1, HT29, SW480, and CT26) was exposed to metformin or phenformin for 16 h at indicated concentrations. Afterward, cell viability was measured by MTT and colony formation assays. Apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were detected by flow cytometry. Phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) was examined by western blot. Mitochondria complexes activity and oxygen consumption rate (OCR) were measured by seahorse analyzer. The radiosensitivity of tumor cells was assessed by colony formation assay under aerobic and hypoxic conditions. The in vitro findings were further validated in colorectal CT26 tumor model. Results: Metformin and phenformin inhibited mitochondrial complex I activity and subsequently reduced OCR in a dose-dependent manner starting at 3 mM and 30 ?M, respectively. As a result, the hypoxic radioresistance of tumor cells was counteracted by metformin and phenformin with an enhancement ratio about 2 at 9 mM and 100 ?M, respectively. Regarding intrinsic radioresistance, both of them did not exhibit any effect although there was an increase of phosphorylation of AMPK and ROS production. In tumor-bearing mice, metformin or phenformin alone did not show any anti-tumor effect. While in combination with radiation, both of them substantially delayed tumor growth and enhanced radioresponse, respectively, by 1.3 and 1.5-fold. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that metformin and phenformin overcome hypoxic radioresistance through inhibition of mitochondrial respiration, and provide a rationale to explore metformin and phenformin as hypoxic radiosensitizers.
Project description:There is a need for preclinical models that can enable identification of novel radiosensitizing drugs in clinically relevant high-throughput experiments. We used a new high-throughput compatible total cell kill spheroid assay to study the interaction between drugs and radiation in order to identify compounds with radiosensitizing activity. Experimental drugs were compared to known radiosensitizers and cytotoxic drugs clinically used in combination with radiotherapy. VLX600, a novel iron-chelating inhibitor of oxidative phosphorylation, potentiated the effect of radiation in tumor spheroids in a synergistic manner. This effect was specific to spheroids and not observed in monolayer cell cultures. In conclusion, the total cell kill spheroid assay is a feasible high-throughput method in the search for novel radiosensitizers. VLX600 shows encouraging characteristics for development as a novel radiosensitizer.
Project description:The interaction between high-mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1) and receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is important for tumor cell growth. We investigated the tumor biological effects of HMGB1 and RAGE interaction. Previously, we identified an inhibitor of HMGB1/RAGE interaction, papaverine (a non-narcotic opium alkaloid), using a unique drug design system and drug repositioning approach. In the present study, we examined the anticancer effects of papaverine in human glioblastoma (GBM) temozolomide (TMZ; as a first-line anticancer medicine)-sensitive U87MG and TMZ-resistant T98G cells. HMGB1 supplementation in the culture medium promoted tumor cell growth in T98G cells, and this effect was canceled by papaverine. In addition, papaverine in T98G cells suppressed cancer cell migration. As an HMGB1/RAGE inhibitor, papaverine also significantly inhibited cell proliferation in U87MG and T98G cells. The effects of papaverine were evaluated in vivo in a U87MG xenograft mouse model by determining tumor growth delay. The results indicate that papaverine, a smooth muscle relaxant, is a potential anticancer drug that may be useful in GBM chemotherapy.
Project description:Radiotherapy performs an important function in the treatment of cancer, but resistance of tumor cells to radiation still remains a serious concern. More research on more effective radiosensitizers is urgently needed to overcome such resistance and thereby improve the treatment outcome. The goal of this study was to evaluate and compare the radiosensitizing efficacies of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on glioma at clinically relevant megavoltage energies. Both AuNPs and AgNPs potentiated the in vitro and in vivo antiglioma effects of radiation. AgNPs showed more powerful radiosensitizing ability than AuNPs at the same mass and molar concentrations, leading to a higher rate of apoptotic cell death. Furthermore, the combination of AgNPs with radiation significantly increased the levels of autophagy as compared with AuNPs plus radiation. These findings suggest the potential application of AgNPs as a highly effective nano-radiosensitizer for the treatment of glioma.
Project description:The benzylisoquinoline alkaloid papaverine, synthesized in low amount in most of the opium poppy varieties of Papaver somniferum, is used as a vasodilator muscle relaxant and antispasmodic. Papaverine biosynthesis remains controversial as two different routes utilizing either (S)-coclaurine or (S)-reticuline have been proposed with uncharacterized intermediate steps. In an attempt to elucidate papaverine biosynthesis and identify putative genes involved in uncharacterized steps, we carried out comparative transcriptome analysis of high papaverine mutant (pap1) and normal cultivar (BR086) of P. somniferum. This natural mutant synthesizes more than 12-fold papaverine in comparison to BR086. We established more than 238 Mb transcriptome data separately for pap1 and BR086. Assembly of reads generated 127,342 and 106,128 unigenes in pap1 and BR086, respectively. Digital gene expression analysis of transcriptomes revealed 3,336 differentially expressing unigenes. Enhanced expression of (S)-norcoclaurine-6-O-methyltransferase (6OMT), (S)-3'-hydroxy-N-methylcoclaurine 4'-O-methyltransferase (4'OMT), norreticuline 7-O-methyltransferase (N7OMT) and down-regulation of reticuline 7-O-methyltransferase (7OMT) in pap1 in comparison to BR086 suggest (S)-coclaurine as the route for papaverine biosynthesis. We also identified several methyltransferases and dehydrogenases with enhanced expression in pap1 in comparison to BR086. Our analysis using natural mutant, pap1, concludes that (S)-coclaurine is the branch-point intermediate and preferred route for papaverine biosynthesis. Differentially expressing methyltransferases and dehydrogenases identified in this study will help in elucidating complete biosynthetic pathway of papaverine. The information generated will be helpful in developing strategies for enhanced biosynthesis of papaverine through biotechnological approaches.
Project description:Emerging strategies involving nanomaterials with high-atomic-number elements have been widely developed for radiotherapy in recent years. However, the concern regarding their potential toxicity caused by long-term body retention still limits their further application. In this regard, rapidly clearable radiosensitizers are highly desired for practical cancer treatment. Thus, in this work, ultrasmall BiOI quantum dots (QDs) with efficient renal clearance characteristic and strong permeability inside solid tumor are designed to address this issue. Additionally, considering that injection methods have great influence on the biodistribution and radiotherapeutic efficacy of radiosensitizers, two common injection methods including intratumoral injection and intravenous injection are evaluated. The results exhibit that intratumoral injection can maximize the accumulation of radiosensitizers within a tumor compared to intravenous injection and further enhance radiotherapeutic efficacy. Furthermore, the radiosensitizing effect of BiOI QDs is revealed, which is not only attributed to the radiation enhancement of high-Z elements but also is owed to the •OH production via catalyzing overexpressed H2O2 within a tumor by BiOI QDs under X-ray irradiation. As a result, this work proposes a treatment paradigm to employ ultrasmall radiosensitizers integrated with local intratumoral injection to realize rapid clearance and high-efficiency radiosensitization for cancer therapy.
Project description:Tumour resistance to radiotherapy remains a barrier to improving cancer patient outcomes. To overcome radioresistance, certain drugs have been found to sensitize cells to ionizing radiation (IR). In theory, more potent radiosensitizing drugs should increase tumour kill and improve patient outcomes. In practice, clinical utility of potent radiosensitizing drugs is curtailed by off-target side effects. Here we report potent anti-tubulin drugs conjugated to anti-ErbB antibodies selectively radiosensitize to tumours based on surface receptor expression. While two classes of potent anti-tubulins, auristatins and maytansinoids, indiscriminately radiosensitize tumour cells, conjugating these potent anti-tubulins to anti-ErbB antibodies restrict their radiosensitizing capacity. Of translational significance, we report that a clinically used maytansinoid ADC, ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1), with IR prolongs tumour control in target expressing HER2+ tumours but not target negative tumours. In contrast to ErbB signal inhibition, our findings establish an alternative therapeutic paradigm for ErbB-based radiosensitization using antibodies to restrict radiosensitizer delivery.
Project description:To overcome radioresistance in the treatment of osteosarcoma, a primary malignant tumor of the bone, radiotherapy is generally combined with radiosensitizers. The purpose of this study was to investigate a third-generation bisphosphonate, zoledronic acid (ZOL), as a radiosensitizer for osteosarcoma. We found that exposure of KHOS/NP osteosarcoma cells to 20 ?M ZOL decreased the ?-radiation dose needed to kill 90% of cells. This radiosensitizing effect of ZOL was mediated through decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, increased levels of reactive oxygen species, increased DNA damage (as assessed by counting ?-H2AX foci), decreased abundance of proteins involved in DNA repair pathways (ATR, Rad52, and DNA-PKcs), and decreased phosphorylation of PI3K-Akt and MAPK pathway proteins (Raf1, MEK1/2, ERK1/2, and Akt), as compared to ?-irradiation alone. Cells treated with ZOL plus ?-irradiation showed impaired cell migration and invasion and reduced expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers (vimentin, MMP9, and Slug). In Balb/c nude mice, the mean size of orthotopic osteosarcoma tumors 2 weeks post-inoculation was 195 mm3 following ?-irradiation (8 Gy), while it was 150 mm3 after ?-irradiation plus ZOL treatment (0.1 mg/kg twice weekly for 2 weeks). These results provide a rationale for combining ZOL with radiotherapy to treat osteosarcoma.
Project description:The reaction of papaverine with a series of Baran DiversinatesTM is reported. Although the yields were low, it was possible to synthesize a small biodiscovery library using this plant alkaloid as a scaffold for late-stage C-H functionalization. Ten papaverine analogues (2-11), including seven new compounds, were synthesized. An unexpected radical-induced exchange reaction is reported where the dimethoxybenzyl group of papaverine was replaced by an alkyl group. This side reaction enabled the synthesis of additional novel fragments based on the isoquinoline scaffold, which is present in numerous natural products. Possible reasons for the poor yields in the DiversinateTM reactions with this particular scaffold are discussed.
Project description:The most successful therapeutic strategies for locally advanced cancers continue to combine decades-old classical radiosensitizing chemotherapies with radiotherapy. Molecular targeted radiosensitizers offer the potential to improve the therapeutic ratio by increasing tumor-specific kill while minimizing drug delivery and toxicity to surrounding normal tissue. Auristatins are a potent class of anti-tubulins that sensitize cells to ionizing radiation damage and are chemically amenable to antibody conjugation. To achieve tumor-selective radiosensitization, we synthesized and tested anti-HER2 antibody-drug conjugates of two auristatin derivatives with ionizing radiation. Monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) and monomethyl auristatin F (MMAF) were attached to the anti-HER2 antibodies trastuzumab and pertuzumab through a cleavable linker. While MMAE is cell permeable, MMAF has limited cell permeability as free drug resulting in diminished cytotoxicity and radiosensitization. However, when attached to trastuzumab or pertuzumab, MMAF was as efficacious as MMAE in blocking HER2-expressing tumor cells in G2-M. Moreover, MMAF anti-HER2 conjugates selectively killed and radiosensitized HER2-rich tumor cells. Importantly, when conjugated to targeting antibody, MMAF had the advantage of decreased bystander and off-target effects compared with MMAE. In murine xenograft models, MMAF anti-HER2 antibody conjugates had less drug accumulated in the normal tissue surrounding tumors compared with MMAE. Therapeutically, systemically injected MMAF anti-HER2 conjugates combined with focal ionizing radiation increased tumor control and improved survival of mice with HER2-rich tumor xenografts. In summary, our results demonstrate the potential of cell-impermeable radiosensitizing warheads to improve the therapeutic ratio of radiotherapy by leveraging antibody-drug conjugate technology.