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Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo

versão On-line ISSN 1678-9946

Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo vol.55 no.2 São Paulo mar./abr. 2013

https://doi.org/10.1590/S0036-46652013000200016 

Letter to the Editor

STAUROSPORINE AND ITS EVOLVING ROLE IN INHIBITION OF GROWTH IN MALIGNANT TUMORS

Shailendra Kapoor

1University of Illinois at Chicago, 75 Kristin Circle 413, Schaumburg Illinois, 60195, Chicago, IL, USA, , E-mail:, shailendrakapoor@yahoo.com


November 18, 2012

Dear Sir

BRUGES et al. have reported interesting data in their article 1 . Interestingly, recent data suggests that staurosporine can inhibit tumor growth in a number of systemic malignancies.

For instance, staurosporine demonstrates anti-proliferative effects in prostate carcinomas. It causes significant attenuation of cyclin D1 expression within the cancerous cells 2 . It also increases the translocation of cytochrome c to the cytoplasm and has an enhancing effect on intra- tumoral apoptosis. As a result it markedly decreases tumor growth in prostate malignancies. Besides this, staurosporine also up-regulates the expression of TIMP-1 as a result of increased transcription. This further attenuates tumor invasiveness. Staurosporine also causes increased expression of tau in the cancerous cells 8 . As a result staurosporine increases differentiation of the cancerous cells to cells with neuronal features. As a consequence, tumor invasiveness is attenuated by as much as 20%. It also augments PARP inactivation at the same time 9 .

Similar effects are seen in non-small cell lung carcinomas. Staurosporine augments the activity of thymidine kinase-2 within the tumor 4 . As a result, it increases the chemo-sensitivity of lung tumors to chemotherapeutic agents such as gemcitabine and cisplatin. dCK activity is also increased simultaneously while E2F expression is decreased. At the same time, staurosporine down- regulates RNR expression 7 . Retinoblastoma gene product expression is also altered by staurosporine 5 . Similar effects are seen in gastrointestinal malignancies such as gastric carcinomas. Staurosporine administration results in up- regulation of the p21WAF1 gene 6 . As a result, there is augmented G2/ M phase arrest. Apoptosis is markedly increased. As a result tumor growth is markedly attenuated.

The above examples clearly illustrate the significant anti-proliferative and apoptotic features of staurosporine and the need for further studies to explore and harness its anti-neoplastic effects.

REFERENCES

1. Bruges G, Betancourt M, March M, Sanchez E, Mijares A. Apoptotic-like activity of staurosporine in axenic cultures of Trypanosoma evansi. Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 2012;54:103-8. [ Links ]

2. Gao L, Yang JR, Peng YY, Pan TJ. Effects of staurosporine on the proliferation and apoptosis of prostate cancer PC-3 cells. Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue. 2011;17:884-7. [ Links ]

3. Ha MW, Hou KZ, Liu YP, Yuan Y. Effect of staurosporine on cycle of human gastric cancer cells. World J Gastroenterol. 2004;10:161-6. [ Links ]

4. Marcelli M, Marani M, Li X, Sturgis L, Haidacher SJ, Trial JA, et al. Heterogeneous apoptotic responses of prostate cancer cell lines identify an association between sensitivity to staurosporine-induced apoptosis, expression of Bcl-2 family members, and caspase activation. Prostate. 2000;42:260-73. [ Links ]

5. Monnerat C, Henriksson R, Le Chevalier T, Novello S, Berthaud P, Faivre S, et al. Phase I study of PKC412 (N-benzoyl-staurosporine), a novel oral protein kinase C inhibitor, combined with gemcitabine and cisplatin in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer. Ann Oncol. 2004;15:316-23. [ Links ]

6. Shimizu E, Zhao MR, Nakanishi H, Yamamoto A, Yoshida S, Takada M, et al. Differing effects of staurosporine and UCN-01 on RB protein phosphorylation and expression of lung cancer cell lines. Oncology. 1996;53:494-504. [ Links ]

7. Sigmond J, Bergman AM, Leon LG, Loves WJ, Hoebe EK, Peters GJ. Staurosporine increases toxicity of gemcitabine in non-small cell lung cancer cells: role of protein kinase C, deoxycytidine kinase and ribonucleotide reductase. Anticancer Drugs. 2010;21:591-9. [ Links ]

8. Tachibana K, Shimizu T, Tonami K, Takeda K. Staurosporine enhances the expression of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 in human prostate cancer cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002;295:489-94. [ Links ]

9. Takahashi N, Shimizu T, Takeda K. Low-dose staurosporine suppresses proliferation and induces neurites in human prostatic cancer TSU-Pr1 cells. Prostate. 2000;44:328-33. [ Links ]

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