Arsenic trioxide inhibits growth of human chondrosarcoma cells through G2/M arrest and apoptosis as well as autophagy

Tumour Biol. 2015 May;36(5):3969-77. doi: 10.1007/s13277-015-3040-z. Epub 2015 Jan 11.


It has been demonstrated that Gli1 is expressed in chondrosarcoma but not in the normal articular cartilage tissues. Downregulating Gli1 by small interfering RNA inhibited chondrosarcoma cells growth. Arsenic trioxide (ATO) has been demonstrated to suppress human cancer cell growth by targeting Gli1. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of ATO on antineoplastic capability of chondrosarcoma cells. We found that ATO inhibited the growth of chondrosarcoma cells in dose-dependent and time-dependent manners via MTT and colony formation assays. In addition, ATO treatment induced apoptosis and promoted G2/M phase arrest in SW1353 cells as analyzed by flow cytometry assays and Western blotting. Furthermore, we observed that ATO also triggered autophagy by regulating mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) phosphorylation. Finally, we found that ATO-mediated cell death could be averted by autophagy inhibitor. Taken together, the current study suggested that ATO had therapeutic efficacy in human chondrosarcoma cells through the promotion of G2/M arrest and induction of both apoptosis as well as autophagy. ATO administration could be a novel therapeutic strategy for treating chondrosarcomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Arsenic Trioxide
  • Arsenicals / administration & dosage*
  • Autophagy / drug effects
  • Bone Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Bone Neoplasms / genetics
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / drug effects*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Chondrosarcoma / drug therapy*
  • Chondrosarcoma / genetics
  • Chondrosarcoma / pathology
  • G2 Phase Cell Cycle Checkpoints / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Oxides / administration & dosage*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics


  • Arsenicals
  • Oxides
  • MTOR protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Arsenic Trioxide