Harmines inhibit cancer cell growth through coordinated activation of apoptosis and inhibition of autophagy

Harmines inhibit cancer cell growth through coordinated activation of apoptosis and inhibition of... Harmine and its analogs have long been considered as anticancer agents. In vitro analyses suggested that intercalating DNA or inhibiting topoisomerase might contribute to the cytotoxic effect of this class of compound. However, this idea has not been rigorously tested in intact cells. By synthesizing novel derivatives, here we demonstrate that harmines did not activate the DNA damage response, a cellular signaling commonly induced by agents that intercalate DNA or inhibit topoisomerase. These findings suggest that mechanisms other than DNA intercalating or topoisomerase inhibiting contribute to the toxicity of harmines in vivo. Using a novel N2-benzyl and N9-arylated alkyl compound 10f that has good solubility and stability as the model, we show that harmines strongly inhibited the growth of cancer cells originated from breast, lung, bone and pancreas, but not that of normal fibroblasts. We further show that 10f induced apoptosis and inhibited autophagy in a dose and time-dependent manner. An apoptosis inhibitor suppressed 10f-induced cell death. Together, our results reveal previously unidentified insights into the anticancer mechanism of harmines, supporting future development of this compound class in the treatment of human cancers. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications Elsevier

Harmines inhibit cancer cell growth through coordinated activation of apoptosis and inhibition of autophagy

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc.
ISSN
0006-291x
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.bbrc.2018.02.205
Publisher site
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Abstract

Harmine and its analogs have long been considered as anticancer agents. In vitro analyses suggested that intercalating DNA or inhibiting topoisomerase might contribute to the cytotoxic effect of this class of compound. However, this idea has not been rigorously tested in intact cells. By synthesizing novel derivatives, here we demonstrate that harmines did not activate the DNA damage response, a cellular signaling commonly induced by agents that intercalate DNA or inhibit topoisomerase. These findings suggest that mechanisms other than DNA intercalating or topoisomerase inhibiting contribute to the toxicity of harmines in vivo. Using a novel N2-benzyl and N9-arylated alkyl compound 10f that has good solubility and stability as the model, we show that harmines strongly inhibited the growth of cancer cells originated from breast, lung, bone and pancreas, but not that of normal fibroblasts. We further show that 10f induced apoptosis and inhibited autophagy in a dose and time-dependent manner. An apoptosis inhibitor suppressed 10f-induced cell death. Together, our results reveal previously unidentified insights into the anticancer mechanism of harmines, supporting future development of this compound class in the treatment of human cancers.

Journal

Biochemical and Biophysical Research CommunicationsElsevier

Published: Mar 25, 2018

References

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