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

Molecular modes of action of artesunate in tumor cell lines.

A profound cytotoxic action of the antimalarial, artesunate (ART), was identified against 55 cancer cell lines of the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI). The 50% inhibition concentrations (IC50 values) for ART correlated significantly to the cell doubling times (P = 0.00132) and the portion of cells in the G0/G1 (P = 0.02244) or S cell cycle phases (P = 0.03567). We selected mRNA expression data of 465 genes obtained by microarray hybridization from the NCI data base. These genes belong to different biological categories (drug resistance genes, DNA damage response and repair genes, oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, apoptosis-regulating genes, proliferation-associated genes, and cytokines and cytokine-associated genes). The constitutive expression of 54 of 465 (=12%) genes correlated significantly to the IC50 values for ART. Hierarchical cluster analysis of these 12 genes allowed the differentiation of clusters with ART-sensitive or ART-resistant cell lines (P = 0.00017). For exemplary validation, cell lines transduced with 3 of the 12 genes were used to prove a causative relationship. The cDNAs for a deletion-mutated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and for gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase increased resistance to ART. The conditional expression of the CDC25A gene using a tetracycline repressor expression vector increased sensitivity toward ART. Multidrug-resistant cells differentially expressing the MDR1, MRP1, or BCRP genes were not cross-resistant to ART. ART acts via p53-dependent and- independent pathways in isogenic p53+/+ p21WAF1/CIP1+/+, p53-/- p21WAF1/CIP1+/+, and p53+/+ p21WAF1/CIP1-/- colon carcinoma cells.[1]


  1. Molecular modes of action of artesunate in tumor cell lines. Efferth, T., Sauerbrey, A., Olbrich, A., Gebhart, E., Rauch, P., Weber, H.O., Hengstler, J.G., Halatsch, M.E., Volm, M., Tew, K.D., Ross, D.D., Funk, J.O. Mol. Pharmacol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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