The novel antimicrotubule agent cryptophycin 52 (LY355703) induces apoptosis via multiple pathways in human prostate cancer cells

Lisa Drew, Robert L Fine, Tamara N Do, Geoffrey P Douglas, Daniel P Petrylak
Clinical Cancer Research 2002, 8 (12): 3922-32
We assessed the ability of cryptophycin 52 (LY355703), a novel antimicrotubule, to induce growth arrest and apoptosis in prostate cancer cell lines and investigated potential molecular mechanisms of death. LNCaP (androgen-dependent) and DU-145 (androgen-independent) cells accumulated in G(2)-M phase of the cell cycle and progressively acquired sub-G(0)-G(1) DNA content after 48 h of exposure to cryptophycin 52 (1-10 pM). Induction of apoptosis was confirmed by DNA ladder formation and detection of cytoplasmic nucleosomes. PC-3 (androgen-independent) cells were less responsive to cryptophycin 52-induced death. Apoptosis was associated with proteolytic processing and activation of the caspase-3-like subfamily proteins caspase-3 and caspase-7 and cleavage of the caspase substrate poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. The pan-caspase inhibitor BOC-Asp(OMe)-fluoromethylketone effectively reduced cryptophycin 52-induced caspase-3-like protease activity and apoptosis in DU-145 cells. In contrast, BOC-Asp(OMe)-fluoromethylketone did not inhibit apoptosis induction in LNCaP cells by cryptophycin 52, even though both cryptophycin 52-induced caspase-3-like activity and staurosporine-induced death were blocked under identical conditions. Cryptophycin 52 induced phosphorylation of c-raf1 and bcl-2 and/or bcl-x(L) to comparable levels in all cell lines studied, and LNCaP cells overexpressing bcl-2 were more resistant to cryptophycin 52-induced apoptosis. Up-regulation of p53, bax, and p21 expression was induced in wild-type p53-expressing LNCaP cells only after cryptophycin 52 exposure. A sustained increase in c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase phosphorylation was also observed, the levels of which strongly correlated with apoptosis. We conclude that apoptosis induced by cryptophycin 52 in prostate cancer cells is androgen status independent, cell type specific for caspase requirement, modulated by the bcl-2 family, linked to but not dependent on p53, and strongly correlated with c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase phosphorylation. Cryptophycin 52-induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells is therefore associated with multiple cell line-specific alterations in apoptosis-associated proteins and pathways.

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