A Metal-Containing Nucleoside that Possesses both Therapeutic and Diagnostic Activity against Cancer [Metabolism]

February 24th, 2015 by Choi, J.-S., Maity, A., Gray, T., Berdis, A. J.

Nucleoside transport is an essential process that helps maintain the hyperproliferative state of most cancer cells. As such, it represents an important target for developing diagnostic and therapeutic agents that can effectively detect and treat cancer, respectively. This report describes the development of a metal-containing nucleoside designated Ir(III)-PPY nucleoside that displays both therapeutic and diagnostic properties against the human epidermal carcinoma cell line, KB3-1. The cytotoxic effects of Ir(III)-PPY nucleoside are both time- and dose-dependent. Flow cytometry analyses validate that the nucleoside analog causes apoptosis by blocking cell-cycle progression at G2/M. Fluorescent microscopy studies show rapid accumulation in the cytoplasm within 4 hours. However, more significant accumulation is observed in the nucleus and mitochondria after 24 hours. This localization is consistent with the ability of the metal-containing nucleoside to influence cell-cycle progression at G2/M. Mitochondrial depletion is also observed after longer incubations (48 hours), and this effect may produce additional cytotoxic effects. siRNA knockdown experiments demonstrate that the nucleoside transporter, hENT1, plays a key role in the cellular entry of Ir(III)-PPY nucleoside. Collectively, these data provide evidence for the development of a metal-containing nucleoside that functions as a combined therapeutic and diagnostic agent against cancer.