Tumor Biology (2017-07-01)

Virus-directed enzyme prodrug therapy and the assessment of the cytotoxic impact of some benzimidazole derivatives

  • Michał Szewczuk,
  • Karolina Boguszewska,
  • Marta Żebrowska,
  • Ewa Balcerczak,
  • Marta Stasiak,
  • Maria Świątkowska,
  • Katarzyna Błaszczak-Świątkiewicz

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 39


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Virus-directed enzyme prodrug therapy is one of the major strategy of increasing cytotoxicity of bioreductive agents. This research intended to examine new selected benzimidazole derivatives as a substrate for nitroreductase, the enzyme involved in nitroreduction which is responsible to the production of cytotoxic metabolites. In this way, the selectivity and strength of cytotoxicity can be raised. The effect of benzimidazoles on virus transfected cells and non-virus transfected cells A549 cell line was established by Annexin V + propidium iodide test, western blot, and polymerase chain reaction analysis of specific pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins in the corresponding gene expression and additionally nitroreductase gene expression. Our results proved the pro-apoptotic properties of all tested compounds in normoxia and hypoxia, especially according to virused A549 cells where the time of exposition was reduced from 48 to 4 h. In this shorten period of time, the strongest activity was shown by N-oxide compounds with nitro-groups. The apoptosis was confirmed by generation of BAX gene and protein and reduction of BCL2 gene and protein.