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Selective photocytotoxicity of anthrols on cancer stem-like cells: the effect of quinone methides or reactive oxygen species

Uzelac, Lidija; Škalamera, Đani; Mlinarić- Majerski, Kata; Basarić, Nikola; Kralj, Marijeta (2017) Selective photocytotoxicity of anthrols on cancer stem-like cells: the effect of quinone methides or reactive oxygen species. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 137 . pp. 558-574. ISSN 0223-5234

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Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a subpopulation of cancer cells that share properties of embryonic stem cells like pluripotency and self-renewal and show increased resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy. Targeting CSC, rather than cancer cells in general, is a novel and promising strategy for cancer treatment. Novel therapeutic approaches, such as photodynamic therapy (PDT) have been investigated. A promising group of phototherapeutic agents are reactive intermediates - quinone methides (QMs). This study describes preparation of QM precursor, 2-hydroxy-3- hydroxymethylanthracene (2) and a detailed photochemical and photobiological investigation on similar anthracene derivatives 3 and 4. Upon photoexcitation with near visible light at λ > 400 nm 1 and 2 give QMs, that were detected by laser flash photolysis and their reactivity with nucleophiles has been demonstrated in the preparative irradiation experiments where the corresponding adducts were isolated and characterized. 3 and 4 cannot undergo photodehydration and deliver QM, but lead to the formation of phenoxyl radical and singlet oxygen, respectively. The activity of 1-4 was tested on a panel of human tumor cell lines, while special attention was devoted to demonstrate their potential selectivity towards the cells with CSC- like properties (HMLEshEcad). Upon the irradiation of cell lines treated with 1-4, an enhancement of antiproliferative activity was demonstrated, but the DNA was not the target molecule. Confocal microscopy revealed that these compounds entered the cell and, upon irradiation, reacted with cellular membranes. Our experiments demonstrated moderate selectivity of 2 and 4 towards CSC-like cells, while necrosis was shown to be a dominant cell death mechanism. Especially interesting was the selectivity of 4 that produced higher levels of ROS in CSC-like cells, which forms the basis for further research on cancer phototherapy, as well as for the elucidation of the underlying mechanism of the observed CSC selectivity based on oxidative stress activation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: antiproliferative activity; cancer stem cells; photodehydration; quinone methides; reactive oxygen species; singlet oxygen
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Chemistry
Divisions: Division of Molecular Medicine
Division of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Mulitidisciplinarni pristup otkriću lijekova s ciljanim djelovanjem na matične stanice tumora – uloga transporta kalija-MultiCaSTMarijeta KraljIP-2013-11-5660HRZZ
Supramolekulska kontrola fotokemijskih reakcija eliminacije-SupraPhotoENikola BasarićIP-2014-09-6312HRZZ
Depositing User: Lidija Uzelac
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2018 13:18
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2017.05.063

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