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Potentiation of in vitro and in vivo antitumor efficacy of doxorubicin by cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor P276-00 in human non-small cell lung cancer cells

Maggie J Rathos1, Harshal Khanwalkar1, Kavita Joshi1, Sonal M Manohar1 and Kalpana S Joshi2*

Author Affiliations

1 Oncology Franchise, Piramal Healthcare Limited, 1-Nirlon Complex, Goregaon, Mumbai, 400 063, India

2 Target Identification Group, Piramal Healthcare Limited, 1-Nirlon Complex, Goregaon, Mumbai, 400 063, India

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BMC Cancer 2013, 13:29  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-29

Published: 23 January 2013



In the present study, we show that the combination of doxorubicin with the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor P276-00 was synergistic at suboptimal doses in the non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) cell lines and induces extensive apoptosis than either drug alone in H-460 human NSCLC cells.


Synergistic effects of P276-00 and doxorubicin on growth inhibition was studied using the Propidium Iodide (PI) assay. The doses showing the best synergistic effect was determined and these doses were used for further mechanistic studies such as western blotting, cell cycle analysis and RT-PCR. The in vivo efficacy of the combination was evaluated using the H-460 xenograft model.


The combination of 100 nM doxorubicin followed by 1200 nM P276-00 showed synergistic effect in the p53-positive and p53-mutated cell lines H-460 and H23 respectively as compared to the p53-null cell line H1299. Abrogation of doxorubicin-induced G2/M arrest and induction of apoptosis was observed in the combination treatment. This was associated with induction of tumor suppressor protein p53 and reduction of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. Furthermore, doxorubicin alone greatly induced COX-2, a NF-κB target and Cdk-1, a target of P276-00, which was downregulated by P276-00 in the combination. Doxorubicin when combined with P276-00 in a sequence-specific manner significantly inhibited tumor growth, compared with either doxorubicin or P276-00 alone in H-460 xenograft model.


These findings suggest that this combination may increase the therapeutic index over doxorubicin alone and reduce systemic toxicity of doxorubicin most likely via an inhibition of doxorubicin-induced chemoresistance involving NF-κB signaling and inhibition of Cdk-1 which is involved in cell cycle progression.

Non-small cell lung cancer; P276-00; Doxorubicin; Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor; Chemotherapy