New findings on the antiproliferative activity of the silver(I) complex with 5-fluorouracil against human multi-resistant NCI/ADR-RES ovarian tumor cells.


Inorganic Chemistry Department, University of Campinas - UNICAMP, 13083-970, Campinas, SP, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]


Metal complexes with antitumor activities have been studied as an alternative to overcome tumor resistance to current pharmaceuticals. Recently, we described the synthesis of a silver(I) complex with 5-fluorouracil (Ag-5fu) with an effective activity in vitro against human multi-resistant ovarian tumor cells (NCI/ADR-RES) when compared to 5-fluorouracil (5fu) and cisplatin. Therefore, for a better understanding of the effect of Ag-5fu and its precursors 5fu and silver(I), the compounds were evaluated by colony formation capacity and flow cytometry assays to analyze cell cycle and cell death induction [phosphatidylserine residues (PS) exposition, multicaspases activation, production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial membrane depolarization] on NCI/ADR-RES tumor cells. As observed for 5fu, Ag-5fu was able to promote G1 phase arrest and to totally inhibit colony formation. Besides, as observed to AgNO3, Ag-5fu promoted a potent PS externalization and multicaspases activation with loss of plasmatic membrane integrity. None of the compounds induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. The Ag-5fu promoted mitochondrial membrane depolarization over time. The results suggest that Ag-5fu may induce regulated cell death in NCI/ADR-RES cells probably by intrinsic apoptosis. Silver(I) and 5fu play different roles on the effect of Ag-5fu in NCI/ADR-RES cells, and the activity of the Ag-5fu complex seems to be more than a simple combination of the activities of free 5fu and silver(I) ions.


5-fluorouracil,Flow cytometry,Metal complex,Ovarian tumor,Silver(I),

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