Department of Thermobiology, Institute of Biophysics, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Lodz, Pomorska 141/143, 90-236 Lodz, Poland. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Epothilones are a new group of compounds with action mechanisms similar to taxanes. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of epothilone A (Epo A) and epothilone B (Epo B) on ovarian cancer cell line SKOV-3 with those of paclitaxel (PTX), a classic taxane. We evaluate glycoprotein P (P-gp) activity in the ovarian cancer cell line. Apoptotic and necrotic cell levels were measured by double staining with Hoechst 33258 and propidium iodide (PI) as well as Annexin V staining. The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and changes in mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) in cells exposed to Epo A, Epo B and PTX were studied using specific fluorescence probes, DCFH(2)-DA (2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate) and JC-1 (5,5',6,6'-tetrachloro-1,1',3,3'-tetraethylbenzimidazolcarbocyanine). The cytotoxic activity of the drugs was determined by the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5 diphenyltetrazolium bromide) test. All probes were analyzed in both the presence and absence of the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC). The results obtained demonstrated that the antiproliferative capacity of Epo A and Epo B in SKOV-3 cell line (measured as IC(50) after 72h continous treatment) was six and five times greater than that of PTX's respectively. Epothilones induced timecourse-dependent apoptosis and necrosis. Apoptotic and necrotic events were partially blocked by NAC, indicating ROS played a substantial role in epothilone-induced apoptosis. Cell death was also associated with a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential, which was more pronounced after treatment with epothilones as compared to paclitaxel.