The selective Hsp90 inhibitor BJ-B11 exhibits potent antitumor activity via induction of cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and autophagy in Eca-109 human esophageal squamous carcinoma cells

Kai-Sheng Liu, Yi Zhang, Wei-Chao Ding, Shao-Xiang Wang, Yang-Fei Xiang, Pan Yang, Zhen-Ping Chen, Kai Zheng, Zhong Liu, Min Xia, Yi-Fei Wang
International Journal of Oncology 2012, 41 (6): 2276-84
BJ-B11 is a selective heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) inhibitor that has been reported to possess significant antitumor activity in multiple types of cancer cells; however, the mechanism of action needs to be further clarified. We investigated, for the first time, the antitumor activity and the molecular mechanism underlying growth inhibition in Eca-109 cells. The results revealed that BJ-B11 inhibited the proliferation of Eca-109 cells in a time- and concentration-dependent manner, with 50% inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) values of 0.31±0.01 µM after 48-h incubation. BJ-B11 induced concentration-dependent G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. The cleavage of caspase 3 and PARP signals detected might originate from mitochondrial dysfunction, which was supported by the results of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, cytochrome c release and the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) reduction. The general caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-fmk did not completely abolish BJ-B11-induced cell death. Furthermore, inhibition of the Akt/mTOR/p70S6K signaling pathway might be involved in the process of BJ-B11-induced autophagy, which was characterized by the production of autophagic vacuoles and upregulation of LC3-II protein in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Meanwhile, the general autophagy inhibitor 3-MA decreased the apoptotic ratio. Furthermore, BJ-B11 induced the polymerization of cytoskeleton β-tubulin and F-actin. Taken together, our results suggest that the growth inhibition of Eca-109 cells induced by BJ-B11 may result from the induction of G2/M cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and autophagy.

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