Chloroquine alleviates etoposide-induced centrosome amplification by inhibiting CDK2 in adrenocortical tumor cells

T. Y. Chen, J. S. Syu, T. C. Lin, H. L. Cheng, F. L. Lu, C. Y. Wang

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The antitumor drug etoposide (ETO) is widely used in treating several cancers, including adrenocortical tumor (ACT). However, when used at sublethal doses, tumor cells still survive and are more susceptible to the recurring tumor due to centrosome amplification. Here, we checked the effect of sublethal dose of ETO in ACT cells. Sublethal dose of ETO treatment did not induce cell death but arrested the ACT cells in G2/M phase. This resulted in centrosome amplification and aberrant mitotic spindle formation leading to genomic instability and cellular senescence. Under such conditions, Chk2, cyclin A/CDK2 and ERK1/2 were aberrantly activated. Pharmacological inactivation of Chk2, CDK2 or ERK1/2 or depletion of CDK2 or Chk2 inhibited the centrosome amplification in ETO-treated ACT cells. In addition, autophagy was activated by ETO and was required for ACT cell survival. Chloroquine, the autophagy inhibitor, reduced ACT cell growth and inhibited ETO-induced centrosome amplification. Chloroquine alleviated CDK2 and ERK, but not Chk2, activation and thus inhibited centrosome amplification in either ETO-or hydroxyurea-treated ACT cells. In addition, chloroquine also inhibited centrosome amplification in osteosarcoma U2OS cell lines when treated with ETO or hydroxyurea. In summary, we have demonstrated that chloroquine inhibited ACT cell growth and alleviated DNA damage-induced centrosome amplification by inhibiting CDK2 and ERK activity, thus preventing genomic instability and recurrence of ACT.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere180
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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