01 August 2018
Doxorubicin (DOX) is the most widely used chemotherapeutic agent that has multimodal cytotoxicity. The main cytotoxic actions of DOX occur in the nucleus. The emergence of drug-resistant cancer cells that have the ability to actively efflux DOX out of the nucleus, and the cytoplasm has led to the search for a more effective derivative of this drug.
We created a new derivative of DOX that was derived via simple conjugation of the 3′ amino group of DOX to the dexamethasone molecule.
Despite having a lower cytotoxic activity in MCF-7 cells, the conjugated product, DexDOX, exerted its actions in a manner that was different to that of DOX. DexDOX rapidly induced MCF-7 cell apoptosis without entering the nucleus. Further analysis showed that Dex-DOX increased cytosolic oxidative stress and did not interfere with the cell cycle. In addition, the conjugated product retained its cytotoxicity in multidrug resistance-1-overexpressing MCF-7 cells that had an approximately 16-fold higher resistance to DOX.