Induction of discrete apoptotic pathways by bromo-substituted indirubin derivatives in invasive breast cancer cells

Katerina A. Nicolaou, Vasilis Liapis, Andreas Evdokiou, Constantina Constantinou, Prokopios Magiatis, Alex L. Skaltsounis, Laura Koumas, Paul A. Costeas, Andreas I. Constantinou

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Indirubin derivatives gained interest in recent years for their anticancer and antimetastatic properties. The objective of the present study was to evaluate and compare the anticancer properties of the two novel bromo-substituted derivatives 6-bromoindirubin-3'-oxime (6BIO) and 7-bromoindirubin-3'-oxime (7BIO) in five different breast cancer cell lines. Cell viability assays identified that 6BIO and 7BIO are most effective in preventing the proliferation of the MDA-MB-231-TXSA breast cancer cell line from a total of five breast cancer cell lined examined. In addition it was found that the two compounds induce apoptosis via different mechanisms. 6BIO induces caspase-dependent programmed cell death through the intrinsic (mitochondrial) caspase-9 pathway. 7BIO up-regulates p21 and promotes G2/M cell cycle arrest which is subsequently followed by the activation of two different apoptotic pathways: (a) a pathway that involves the upregulation of DR4/DR5 and activation of caspase-8 and (b) a caspase independent pathway. In conclusion, this study provides important insights regarding the molecular pathways leading to cell cycle arrest and apoptosis by two indirubin derivatives that can find clinical applications in targeted cancer therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-82
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2012


  • Apoptosis
  • Breast cancer
  • Cell cycle
  • Indirubin derivatives


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