A combined DNA-affinic molecule and N-mustard alkylating agent has an anti-cancer effect and induces autophagy in oral cancer cells

Wen Liang Lo*, Pen Yuan Chu, Tsung Heng Lee, Tsann Long Su, Yueh Chien, Yi Wei Chen, Pin I. Huang, Ling Ming Tseng, Pang Hsien Tu, Shou Yen Kao, Jeng Fan Lo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Although surgery or the combination of chemotherapy and radiation are reported to improve the quality of life and reduce symptoms in patients with oral cancer, the prognosis of oral cancer remains generally poor. DNA alkylating agents, such as N-mustard, play an important role in cancer drug development. BO-1051 is a new 9-anilinoacridine N-mustard-derivative anti-cancer drug that can effectively target a variety of cancer cell lines and inhibit tumorigenesis in vivo. However, the underlying mechanism of BO-1051-mediated tumor suppression remains undetermined. In the present study, BO-1051 suppressed cell viability with a low IC50 in oral cancer cells, but not in normal gingival fibroblasts. Cell cycle analysis revealed that the tumor suppression by BO-1051 was accompanied by cell cycle arrest and downregulation of stemness genes. The enhanced conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II and the formation of acidic vesicular organelles indicated that BO-1501 induced autophagy. The expression of checkpoint kinases was upregulated as demonstrated with Western blot analysis, showing that BO-1051 could induce DNA damage and participate in DNA repair mechanisms. Furthermore, BO-1051 treatment alone exhibited a moderate tumor suppressive effect against xenograft tumor growth in immunocompromised mice. Importantly, the combination of BO-1051 and radiation led to a potent inhibition on xenograft tumorigenesis. Collectively, our findings demonstrated that BO-1051 exhibited a cytotoxic effect via cell cycle arrest and the induction of autophagy. Thus, the combination of BO-1051 and radiotherapy may be a feasible therapeutic strategy against oral cancer in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3277-3290
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal Of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Autophagy
  • AVO
  • BO-1051
  • Cell cycle
  • Checkpoint kinases


Dive into the research topics of 'A combined DNA-affinic molecule and N-mustard alkylating agent has an anti-cancer effect and induces autophagy in oral cancer cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this