Investigational New Drugs

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 827–832

Liquid crystal-related compound-induced cell growth suppression and apoptosis in the chronic myelogenous leukemia K562 cell line

  • Yukako Fukushi
  • Masaharu Hazawa
  • Kenji Takahashi
  • Atsushi Yoshizawa
  • Ikuo Kashiwakura


Liquid crystals are the state of matter existing between the liquid and the crystalline phase, and there is a recent surging interest in its biological effects. Our previous study showed that liquid crystal-related compounds (LCRCs), which are precursors of the liquid crystal, enhanced hematopoietic differentiation at a relatively low concentration (Biol Pharm Bull, 32, 2009). However, biological potentials of LCRCs on tumor cells are unclear. In this study, the biological activity of 16 LCRCs to a chronic myelogenous leukemia cell line, K562, was evaluated. As a result, two compounds, 2-(4-butoxyphenyl)-5-(4-hydroxyphenyl)pyrimidine (compound 7) and 2-{4-(4-hexyloxyphenyl)phenyl}-5-hydroxypyrimidine (compound 9) showed marked growth suppression of K562 cells at μM range. These compounds are similar in structure with a core of three aromatic rings including a pyrimidine ring and residues of one alkyl chain and one hydroxide on either side. In addition, only compound 7 induced the activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and apoptosis of K562 cells. The contrasting results between compounds 7 and 9 indicate different mechanisms to suppress the cell proliferation between the two compounds. These results suggest the possibility of LCRCs for application as new antitumor drugs.


Liquid crystal-related compounds K562 cells Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) Bcl-xL 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yukako Fukushi
    • 2
  • Masaharu Hazawa
    • 3
  • Kenji Takahashi
    • 3
  • Atsushi Yoshizawa
    • 2
  • Ikuo Kashiwakura
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiological Life SciencesHirosaki University Graduate School of Health SciencesHirosakiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Frontier Materials Chemistry, Graduate School of Science and TechnologyHirosaki UniversityHirosakiJapan
  3. 3.Department of Radiological Life SciencesHirosaki University Graduate School of Health SciencesHirosakiJapan

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