UCN-01 in ovary cancer cells: Effective as a single agent and in combination with cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II) independent of p53 status Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Alkaloids
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cisplatin
  • Genes, p53
  • Ovarian Neoplasms


  • Our goal was to determine the cytotoxicity of 7-OH-hydroxystaurosporine (UCN-01) as a single agent and in combination with cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II) (CDDP) in a panel of ovarian carcinoma cells. We sought to examine the role of p53 gene function and alterations in cell cycle progression or other mechanisms of action of UCN-01 including perturbation of the apoptosis pathway mediated by NF-kappaB and Bcl-2/Bax. Cytotoxicity was determined from dose-response curves established by the Alamar blue vital dye indicator assay. Restoration of wild-type p53 in a p53 null cell line, SKOV 3, was achieved by transfection of a p53 expression vector. Cell cycle distribution was measured by fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis of ethidium bromide-stained nuclei. Apoptosis was measured by quantitative fluorescence microscopy. NF-kappaB DNA binding activity was measured by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Bcl-2 and Bax levels were determined by Western immunoblotting. UCN-01 was effective as a cytotoxic agent alone and in combination with CDDP in all cell lines studied, regardless of p53 status. The degree of sensitization to CDDP conferred by UCN-01, however, was found to correlate with p53 gene status. p53 wild-type cells seem to be more sensitive to the cytotoxic effects of the combination of UCN-01 + CDDP than the p53 mutant cells. This was confirmed in cells in which p53 wild-type function was restored by transfection of p53 cDNA, but these cells are also significantly more sensitive to CDDP alone. The effects of UCN-01 on cell cycle progression also appear to be p53 dependent but may not be the primary mechanism of action. The rate of apoptosis is increased 4-fold in UCN-01 + CDDP-treated cells compared to either agent alone. UCN-01 does not effect NF-kappaB DNA binding activity or Bcl-2 and Bax levels. UCN-01 enhances CDDP cytotoxicity and apoptosis in ovary cancer cells. This occurs regardless of p53 status, but wild-type p53 seems to increase the degree of sensitization.

publication date

  • November 1997



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed ID

  • 9815601

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 2089

end page

  • 97


  • 3


  • 11