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

Pk11195, a mitochondrial benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, reduces apoptosis threshold in Bcl-X(L) and Mcl-1 expressing human cholangiocarcinoma cells.

BACKGROUND: Cholangiocarcinoma cells express high levels of the antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-X(L) and Mcl-1 and are markedly chemo- and radioresistant. Mitochondria have emerged as central players in apoptosis. Antiapoptotic members of the Bcl-2 protein family localise to the outer mitochondrial membrane and regulate mitochondrial release of apoptogenic proteins. Mitochondrial benzodiazepine receptor ( mBzR) ligands have been shown to reverse Bcl-2 action and facilitate apoptosis. AIM: We evaluated the ability of the mBzR antagonist Pk11195 to overcome preapoptotic mitochondrial dysfunction in Egi-1 and Tfk-1, two human cholangiocarcinoma cell lines expressing high levels of Bcl-X(L) and Mcl-1. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cells growing in culture were used to perform in vitro experiments over 48-96 hours following treatment. The cytotoxic agents used were 5 fluorouracil 10 microM and etoposide (Vp16) 10 microM, together with ultraviolet and 0.5-1 Gy x ray irradiation with or without 75 microM Pk11195. Apoptosis and mitochondrial dysfunction were measured at single cell resolution by flow cytometry using the mitochondrial fluorochrome DiOC6(3). Severe combined immunodeficient non-obese diabetic (SCID-NOD) mice with subcutaneous xenografts using the Egi-1 and Tfk-1 cell lines were treated with etoposide with or without addition of Pk11195 over a 72 hour period during which time the xenograft growth patterns were monitored. RESULTS: In vitro, the effect of Pk11195 on induction of apoptosis in cholangiocarcinoma cells following stimulation by chemotherapy or radiotherapy was found to be both time and dose dependent, with Pk11195 increasing rates of apoptosis by 50-95%. Intraperitoneal administration of Pk11195 in combination with Vp16 was found to increase the growth inhibiting effects of Vp16 on xenografts during the treatment phase. PK11195 75 microM on its own had no intrinsic cytotoxic efficacy. CONCLUSION: This is the first study to demonstrate that functional antagonism of coexpressed Bcl-X(L) and Mcl-1 proteins using the mBzR antagonist Pk11195 can facilitate apoptosis in cholangiocarcinoma following chemotherapy and radiotherapy.[1]


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