Key words HO-221
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The antitumor action of HO-221, a novel benzoylphenylurea derivative, was studied. The in vitro cytotoxic strength of HO-221 was investigated, as measured by IC50 values, compared with those of other drugs with different action mechanisms, using Chinese hamster lung (CHL) cells, mouse leukemia L1210 cells and human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells. Morphological alterations following treatment were observed under a phase contrast microscope, and the mitotic index was determined at regular intervals to check for accumulation of metaphase cells. HO-221 was found to have a very strong toxic effect on all cell types, equal to that of the spindle poisons used as controls. HO-221 also produced the same specific morphological changes as the spindle poisons, with a significant accumulation of metaphase cells. A chromosome analysis of treated cells showed that HO-221 frequently induced polyploid and aneuploid cells, but without accompanying chromosome-breaking activity. An in vivo mouse bone marrow micronucleus assay was also carried out. The assay allowed the in vivo identification of a chromosome breaker or a spindle poison through the measurement of the relative sizes of micronuclei produced and erythrocytes. HO-221 was found frequently to induce relatively large micronuclei, an action regarded as specific to spindle poisons. It was thus demonstrated that HO-221 acts as a spindle poison both in vitro and in vivo. In order to investigate the mechanism of this action, a study of tubulin assembly using purified calf brain tubulin was carried out, which demonstrated clearly that HO-221 inhibits microtubule assembly. A detailed investigation of the action mechanism of HO-221 as a spindle poison is now called for.
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