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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2023, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (1): 62-76.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.09.006

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

In vitro and in vivo anticancer potential and molecular targets of the new colchicine analog IIIM-067

Sumera Malika,b, Mubashir J. Mintooa,b, Chilakala Nagarjuna Reddyb,c, Rajesh Kumara, Pankul Kotwalb,d, Sandip B. Bharateb,c, Utpal Nandib,d, Dilip M. Mondhea,b, Sanket K. Shuklaa,b   

  1. a. Pharmacology Division, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu 180001, Jammu & Kashmir, India
    b. Academy of Scientific & Innovative Research (AcSIR), Ghaziabad 201002, Uttar Pradesh, India
    c. Medicinal Chemistry Division, CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu 180001, Jammu & Kashmir, India
    d. Pharmacokinetics-Pharmacodynamics (PK-PD), Toxicology Division, CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu 180001, Jammu & Kashmir, India

  • Received:2022-01-25 Accepted:2022-06-14 Online:2023-01-19 Published:2023-01-19
  • Contact: Dilip M. Mondhe;Sanket K. Shukla;,

Objective: The current study evaluated various new colchicine analogs for their anticancer activity and to study the primary mechanism of apoptosis and in vivo antitumor activity of the analogs with selective anticancer properties and minimal toxicity to normal cells.
Methods: Sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay was used to screen various colchicine analogs for their in vitro cytotoxicity. The effect of N-[(7S)-1,2,3-trimethoxy-9-oxo-10-(pyrrolidine-1-yl)5,6,7,9-tetrahydrobenzo[a] heptalene-7-yl] acetamide (IIIM-067) on clonogenicity, apoptotic induction, and invasiveness of A549 cells was determined using a clonogenic assay, scratch assay, and staining with 4’,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) and annexin V/ propidium iodide. Mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were observed using fluorescence microscopy. Western blot analysis was used to quantify expression of proteins involved in apoptosis, cell cycle, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling. Pharmacokinetic and in vivo efficacy studies against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) and Ehrlich solid tumor models were conducted using Swiss albino mice.
Results: IIIM-067 showed potent cytotoxicity and better selectivity than all other colchicine analogs screened in this study. The selective activity of IIIM-067 toward A549 cells was higher among other cancer cell lines, with a selectivity index (SI) value of 2.28. IIIM-067 demonstrated concentration- and time-dependent cytotoxicity against A549 cells with half-maximal inhibitory concentration values of 0.207, 0.150 and 0.106 μmol/L at 24, 48 and 72 h, respectively. It also had reduced toxicity to normal cells (SI > 1) than the parent compound colchicine (SI = 1). IIIM-067 reduced the clonogenic ability of A549 cells in a dose-dependent manner. IIIM-067 enhanced ROS production from 24.6% at 0.05 μmol/L to 82.1% at 0.4 μmol/L and substantially decreased the MMP (100% in control to 5.6% at 0.4 μmol/L). The annexin V-FITC assay demonstrated 78% apoptosis at 0.4 μmol/L. IIIM-067 significantly (P < 0.5) induced the expression of various intrinsic apoptotic pathway proteins, and it differentially regulated the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway. Furthermore, IIIM-067 exhibited remarkable in vivo anticancer activity against the murine EAC model, with tumor growth inhibition (TGI) of 67.0% at a dose of 6 mg/kg (i.p.) and a reduced mortality compared to colchicine. IIIM-067 also effectively inhibited the tumor growth in the murine solid tumor model with TGI rates of 48.10%, 55.68% and 44.00% at doses of 5 mg/kg (i.p.), 6 mg/kg (i.p.) and 7 mg/kg (p.o.), respectively.
Conclusion: IIIM-067 exhibited significant anticancer activity with reduced toxicity both in vitro and in vivo and is a promising anticancer candidate. However, further studies are required in clinical settings to fully understand its potential.

Key words: Colchicine, IIIM-067, Apoptosis, Antineoplastic agents, Carcinoma, Ehrlich tumor, A549 cells

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