Quinazolines are multitarget agents, which have broad spectrum of biological activity, and some of them are now in cancer clinical testing. 3-(5-nitro-2-thienyl)-9-chloro-5-morpholin-4-yl[1,2,4]triazolo[4,3-c]quinazoline is a new synthetically prepared derivative, which in our previous study showed cytotoxic effects on cancer cell lines HeLa and B16. Quinazoline, at micromolar concentrations, induced morphological changes and necrosis of B16 cells, and at nanomolar concentrations it produced changes of F-actin cytoskeleton. It did not cause changes in the cell cycle, did not induce apoptotic cell death in B16 cells, did not have a mutagenic effect, and did not even behave as a typical intercalating agent. Little significant reduction of tumor volume in intramuscular transplanted B16 cells was observed. The aim of the present study was to examine the cytotoxic effect of 3-(5-nitro-2-thienyl)-9-chloro-5-morpholin-4-yl[1,2,4]triazolo[4,3-c]quinazoline on murine leukemia L1210 cells and fibroblast NIH-3T3 cells. Induction of cell morphology and cell cycle changes, induction of apoptosis and caspase 3 activity were studied. Quinazoline acted cytotoxically on both cell lines. The sensitivity of leukemia L1210 cells to the quinazoline was higher than that of fibroblast NIH-3T3. The IC(100) was 12 microM for L1210 cells and 24 microM for NIH-3T3 cells. No effect of quinazoline on the cell cycle profile of L1210 and NIH-3T3 was detected, however, quinazoline induced an increase of the sub-G(0) cell fraction, apoptotic DNA fragmentation, and apoptotic morphological changes at a concentration of 12 microM. This quinazoline concentration induced caspase 3 activity. Our results demonstrated that induction of apoptotic cell death via activation of caspase 3 contributed to the cytotoxic effects of 3-(5-nitro-2-thienyl)-9-chloro-5-morpholin-4-yl[1,2,4]triazolo[4,3-c]quinazoline in murine leukemia L1210 cells.
Quinolines are known to be multitarget agents with a broad spectrum of biological activity. In a previous study, we showed that newly prepared 4-amino-3-acetylquinoline (AAQ) possesses strong anticancer activities. In this study, we investigated whether AAQ has cytotoxicity in murine L1210 leukemia cells. Results from cell proliferation assays showed that AAQ caused significant decrease in cell number in a dose-dependent manner. The cell death induced by AAQ appeared to involve apoptosis, based on evidence from apoptotic DNA fragmentation, flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy, and Western blot analyses. We found that AAQ-treated cells had activated p38 MAPK and that apoptosis was processed through a reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent mitochondrial pathway. In summary, our results suggest that AAQ can induce apoptosis, at least in part, through the activation of the p38 MAPK pathway in L1210 leukemia cells.
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