Selective sensitization of retinoblastoma protein-deficient sarcoma cells to doxorubicin by flavopiridol-mediated inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinase 2 kinase activity

W. Li, J. Fan, J. R. Bertino

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37 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the effects of flavopiridol (FP), a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, on doxorubicin (DOX)-induced cell killing in an osteosarcoma cell line (SaOs-2) that lacks functional retinoblastoma protein (pRb). The IC50 value for DOX was 7-fold lower when combined with a low dose (100 nM) FP in pRb-deficient SaOs-2 cells than in the absence of FP. In contrast, the IC50 value for DOX was not decreased in the presence of 100 nM FP in pRb-restored SaOs-2 cells. Consistent with this, FP enhanced DOX-induced activation of caspase-3, which correlates with apoptosis, in pRb-deficient cells but not in pRb-restored cells. Additional studies showed that FP decreased DOX-induced cell accumulation in S phase in retinoblastoma-restored cells but not in pRb-deficient cells. An increased expression of p21 and inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinase 2 kinase activity by FP was also observed in pRb-deficient cells but not in retinoblastoma-restored SaOs-2 cells. We conclude that pRb plays a key role in determining whether FP selectively sensitizes DOX-induced cell killing in human sarcoma cells. Because lack of functional pRb is a common abnormality in human cancers, the combination of FP with DOX in tumors lacking pRb would be worthy of further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2579-2582
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Research
Volume61
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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