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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cyclooxygenase-2, player or spectator in cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor-induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.

BACKGROUND: The antitumor activity of cyclooxygenase-2 ( COX-2) inhibitors is thought to involve COX-2 enzyme inhibition and apoptosis induction, but it is unclear whether COX-2 inhibition is required for apoptosis. Different COX-2 inhibitors have similar IC(50) values (concentration for 50% inhibition) for COX-2 inhibition but differ considerably in their abilities to induce apoptosis, suggesting the involvement of a COX-2-independent pathway in apoptosis. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the effect of COX-2 depletion on apoptosis and performed a structure-activity analysis of the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib in the androgen-independent prostate cancer cell line PC-3. METHODS: Tetracycline-inducible (Tet-On) COX-2 antisense clones were isolated to assess the effect of COX-2 expression on cell viability and sensitivity to apoptosis induced by COX-2 inhibitors. Untreated Tet-On clones differentially expressed COX-2, and doxycycline-treated clones were depleted of COX-2. We synthesized and characterized various celecoxib derivatives with various COX-2 inhibitory activities and determined their apoptotic activity in PC-3 cells. Apoptosis was assessed with four tests. RESULTS: In contrast to the effect of COX-2 inhibitors, which induced apoptosis, COX-2 depletion did not induce cell death. Susceptibility to COX-2 inhibitor-induced apoptosis was independent of the level of COX-2 expression. Structure-activity analysis found no correlation between apoptosis induction and COX-2 inhibition. Some celecoxib derivatives that lacked COX-2 inhibitory activity facilitated apoptosis and vice versa. Moreover, celecoxib and apoptosis-active celecoxib derivatives mediated cell death by inhibiting the same pathway. CONCLUSION: We have dissociated the apoptosis-inducing activity from the COX-2 inhibitory activity by structural modifications of the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib. This separation of activities may provide a molecular basis for the development of new classes of apoptosis-inducing agents.[1]


  1. Cyclooxygenase-2, player or spectator in cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor-induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. Song, X., Lin, H.P., Johnson, A.J., Tseng, P.H., Yang, Y.T., Kulp, S.K., Chen, C.S. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. (2002) [Pubmed]
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