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Novel Benzo[B]Furans with Anti-Microtubule Activity Upregulate Expression of Apoptotic Genes and Arrest Leukemia Cells in G2/M Phase

[ Vol. 19 , Issue. 3 ]

Author(s):

Karolina Królewska-Golińska, Marcin J. Cieślak*, Milena Sobczak, Rafał Dolot, Ewa Radzikowska-Cieciura, Mariola Napiórkowska, Iwona Wybrańska and Barbara Nawrot   Pages 375 - 388 ( 14 )

Abstract:


Background: Novel derivatives of benzo[b]furan were found to be highly toxic towards human chronic myelogenous (K562), acute myelogenous (HL-60) and acute lymphoblastic (MOLT-4) leukemia cells.

Objective: The objective was the characterization of the biological activity of novel benzofurans (influence on apoptosis, mitogen-activated protein kinases and on the cell cycle). Cellular protein(s) targeted by test benzofurans and mechanism of action were identified.

Methods: The methods utilized in the study were chemical synthesis, fluorescence assays, flow cytometry, gene expression by DNA microarray and real-time RT-PCR, western blotting, cytotoxicity assays, pull-down assay, mass spectroscopy, in vitro polymerization of tubulin, molecular docking.

Results: 1,1'-[3-(bromomethyl)-5,6- dimethoxy-1-benzofuran-2,7-diyldiethanone (1) and methyl 4-bromo-6- (dibromoacetyl)-5-hydroxy-2-methyl-1-benzofuran-3-carboxylate (2) induced apoptosis in K562 and MOLT-4 cells. The profiling of gene expression revealed that 1 and 2 increased the expression of proapoptotic genes involved in both receptor (TNFRSF 10A, TNFRSF 10B, CASP8) and mitochondrial (BAX, BID, NOXA, APAF1) pathways of apoptosis. Test benzo[b]furans activated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 kinase in K562 cells. Tubulin was identified as a protein target for benzo[b]furans in pull-down experiments with biotinylated 2. Test benzo[b]furans inhibited polymerization of tubulin monomers in vitro, decreased the level of cellular microtubules and arrested cells in a G2/M phase. Molecular docking suggests that benzo[b]furans 1 and 2 bind to tubulin via colchicine binding pocket and the complex is stabilized mainly by hydrophobic interactions.

Conclusion: Novel benzo[b]furans with anti-microtubule activity were identified. They induce apoptosis in cancer cells and cause G2/M cell cycle arrest. Biological activity of 1 and 2 makes them potential lead compounds for development as anticancer drugs.

Keywords:

Apoptosis, benzofurans, microtubules, antineoplastic agents, leukemia, molecular docking, novel benzo[b]furans.

Affiliation:

Centre of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, 112 Sienkiewicza Str., 90-363 Lodz, Centre of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, 112 Sienkiewicza Str., 90-363 Lodz, Centre of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, 112 Sienkiewicza Str., 90-363 Lodz, Centre of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, 112 Sienkiewicza Str., 90-363 Lodz, Centre of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, 112 Sienkiewicza Str., 90-363 Lodz, Department of Medical Chemistry, Medical University of Warsaw, 3 Oczki Str., 02-007 Warsaw, Department of Genetic Diagnostics and Nutrigenomics, Chair of Clinical Biochemistry, The Jagiellonian University, Medical College, 15 Kopernika Str., 31- 501 Krakow, Centre of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, 112 Sienkiewicza Str., 90-363 Lodz

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