A potent chemotherapeutic strategy in prostate cancer: S-(methoxytrityl)-L-cysteine, a novel Eg5 inhibitor

Asian J Androl. 2011 Mar;13(2):236-41. doi: 10.1038/aja.2010.171. Epub 2011 Feb 7.


Docetaxel-based combination chemotherapy remains the predominant treatment for castration-resistant prostate cancer. However, taxane-related drug resistance and neurotoxicity have prompted us to develop substitute treatment strategies. Eg5 (kinesin spindle protein), which is crucial for bipolar spindle formation and duplicated chromosome separation during the early phase of mitosis, has emerged as an attractive target for cancer chemotherapy. The aim of this study was to investigate the anticancer efficacy of S-(methoxytrityl)-L-cysteine (S(MeO)TLC), a novel Eg5 inhibitor in prostate cancer. Eg5 expression was examined in human prostate cancer cell lines and tissue microarrays were constructed from clinical specimens. Antiproliferative activity of S(MeO)TLC in prostate cancer cells was assessed by a cell viability assay. The anticancer effect and inhibitory mechanism of S(MeO)TLC in prostate cancer cells was further explored by Hoechst staining, flow cytometry and immunofluorescence. In addition, the antitumor effect of S(MeO)TLC on subcutaneous xenograft models was assessed. Eg5 expression was identified in PC3, DU145 and LNCaP cells. More than half of prostate cancer clinical specimens displayed Eg5 expression. S(MeO)TLC exhibited more powerful anticancer activity in prostate cancer cells compared with the other four Eg5 inhibitors tested. S(MeO)TLC induced cell death after arresting dividing cells at mitosis with distinct monopolar spindle formation. S(MeO)TLC exhibited its significant inhibitory activity (P<0.05) on subcutaneous xenograft models also through induction of mitotic arrest. We conclude that Eg5 is a good target for prostate cancer chemotherapy, and S(MeO)TLC is a potent promising anticancer agent in prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cysteine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cysteine / therapeutic use
  • Docetaxel
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Humans
  • Kinesins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Kinesins / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Protein Array Analysis
  • Taxoids / therapeutic use
  • Trityl Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • KIF11 protein, human
  • S-(methoxytrityl)cysteine
  • Taxoids
  • Trityl Compounds
  • Docetaxel
  • Kinesins
  • Cysteine