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The Cardiac Glycoside Convallatoxin Inhibits the Growth of Colorectal Cancer Cells in a p53-independent Manner


The Cardiac Glycoside Convallatoxin Inhibits the Growth of Colorectal Cancer Cells in a p53-independent Manner

Sarah E Anderson et al. Mol Genet Metab Rep.


Cardiac glycosides are plant-derived molecules that have shown antiproliferative properties against cancer cells, though the mechanism of action is not completely understood. We show that one cardiac glycoside, convallatoxin, presents antiproliferative effects against colorectal cancer cells in culture and that the resulting cell death is independent of the p53 tumor suppressor. Our data suggest that convallatoxin may be useful in the treatment of cancers that harbor inactivating mutations in the p53 signaling pathway.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Cancer; Cell cycle; Convallatoxin; p53.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Effects of CNT exposure on HCT116 cells. Control or CNT-treated HCT116+/+ cells were grown for 24 h. Following exposure, cell counts were assayed and normalized to control treated cells (A). Similarly, the indicated cells were grown for 24 h in the presence of control media or the indicated concentrations of CNT, and viability determined via alamarBlue reduction (B). For this assay, (− cells) indicates the reduction of alamarBlue in the absence of any plated cells. HCT116 +/+ cells were exposed to CNT (50 nM) for 24 h, stained with Hoechst and counted to determine the mitotic (C) and apoptotic (E) indices. Real-time PCR was used to determine the expression of cell cycle regulatory genes (D) and apoptotic genes (F) after 24 h of CNT treatment. Hoechst analysis (G–H) and real-time PCR analysis (I) was performed in HCT116+/+ and HCT116−/− cells after 24 h of CNT exposure. All data are normalized to control-treated cells and presented ± standard deviation. (ns) = not significant. *p < 0.05.

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