JOURNAL ARTICLE

Cytotoxicity of a non-cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitory derivative of celecoxib in non-small-cell lung cancer A549 cells

Zhimin Tong, Xuli Wu, Ching-Shih Chen, James P Kehrer
Lung Cancer: Journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 2006, 52 (1): 117-24
16497409
Lung cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer death worldwide. Although recent advances in chemotherapy and radiation therapy have yielded modest improvements in patient outcomes, overall survival remains poor. Therefore, new therapeutic targets are needed. Phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 (PDK1) is one potential target. The aim of the present studies was to investigate the potential of a celecoxib-derived PDK1 inhibitor (OSU03013), that does not inhibit cyclooxygenase-2, to kill lung cancer cells in vitro. Using human non-small-cell lung cancer A549 cells, OSU03013 dose-dependently induced apoptosis. After 6 h of treatment with 7.5 microM OSU03013, 26% of the cells were apoptotic, compared to 4% of the control cells as determined by measuring the sub-G1 peak of propidium iodide stained cells with flow cytometry. A similar increase in apoptosis was evident using the Cell Death ELISA assay. OSU03013-induced apoptosis was accompanied by a reduction in the mitochondrial membrane potential, the release of cytochrome c and the cleavage of caspase-3. Surprisingly, the phosphorylation of Akt at serine 473 was increased in A549 cells treated with 7.5 microM OSU03013. However, the toxicity of OSU03013 was reduced in A549 cells expressing a constitutively active form of Akt. These data demonstrate that OSU03013 induces apoptosis in A549 cells via the mitochondrial pathway. Inhibition of the Akt pathway appears uninvolved in this toxicity, although Akt can provide protection. These results also suggest the potential of celecoxib-derived agents to treat some forms of lung cancer.

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