Epothilone B is a novel nontaxane antimicrotubule agent that is active even against paclitaxel (Taxol)-resistant cancer cells. The present study further explores the mechanisms underlying epothilone B-mediated cytotoxicity in human breast cancer cells. We show that BMS-247550 (EpoB), a novel epothilone B analogue, induces cell cycle arrest at the G2-M phase transition and subsequent apoptotic cell death of MDA-MB-468 (468) cells. Treating cells with EpoB triggers a conformational change in the Bax protein and its translocation from the cytosol to the mitochondria, which is accompanied by cytochrome c release from the inter-membrane space of mitochondria into the cytosol. Overexpression of Bcl-2 delays Bax conformational change, cytochrome c release, and apoptosis induced by EpoB. Conversely, the Bcl-2 antagonist Bak-BH3 peptide or HA14-1 compound abrogates the antiapoptotic effects of Bcl-2 and enhances apoptosis of 468 cells pretreated with EpoB (to induce mitotic arrest). In synchronized 468 cells, EpoB is more potent in inducing Bax conformational change and apoptosis at G2-M phase compared with G1-S phase of the cell cycle. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that EpoB induces apoptosis through a Bcl-2-suppressible pathway that controls a conformational change of the proapoptotic Bax protein. The enhanced cytotoxicity of EpoB by blocking Bcl-2 at mitochondria implies a potential application of the combination of EpoB and Bcl-2 antagonists in the treatment of human breast cancer.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Jan 15 2002|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research