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Nitric oxide-donating aspirin induces G2/M phase cell cycle arrest in human cancer cells by regulating phase transition proteins

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NO-aspirin (NO-ASA), consisting of aspirin and a nitric oxide-releasing group, is safer than aspirin and effective in colon cancer prevention. Here, we examined the mechanism of action of NO-ASA by focusing primarily on its effects on the cell cycle. NO-ASA reduced the growth of several cell lines from colon, pancreas, skin, cervix and breast cancer much more potently than aspirin, with 24-h IC50 values of 133-268 µM, while those of ASA were >1,000 µM. NO-ASA elevated the intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species, generating a state of oxidative stress. In all cell lines examined, NO-ASA induced cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase transition accompanied by altered expression of G2/M transition-related proteins. In SW480 colon cancer cells NO-ASA modulated proteins controlling this transition. Thus, it markedly increased the levels of cyclin B1, decreased the expression of cyclin D1 and Cdc25C, and increased the Thr14/Tyr15-phosphorylation of Cdk1 while leaving unchanged its protein levels. These changes, including the G2/M arrest, were prevented by pretreating the cells with the anti-oxidant N-acetyl-cysteine, indicating that redox signaling is likely responsible for the cell cycle changes, a conclusion consi­stent with the known redox regulation of these proteins. Collectively, these results confirm the profound cytokinetic effect of NO-ASA and provide strong evidence that it regulates cell cycle transitions through its ability to induce oxidative stress, which activates redox signaling in the target cell.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Cancer Prevention, Department of Medicine, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8175, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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  • The International Journal of Oncology provides an international forum for the publication of the latest, cutting-edge research in the broad area of oncology and cancer treatment. The journal accepts original high quality works and reviews on all aspects of oncology research including carcinogenesis, metastasis, epidemiology, chemotherapy and viral oncology. Through fair and efficient peer review, the journal is dedicated to publishing top tier research in the field, offering authors rapid publication as well as high standards of copy-editing and production. The International Journal of Oncology is published on a monthly basis in both print and early online.
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