Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 357, Issue 1–2, pp 343–352 | Cite as

2-Methoxyestradiol-bis-sulfamate induces apoptosis and autophagy in a tumorigenic breast epithelial cell line

  • M. H. Visagie
  • A. M. Joubert


In anticancer research where the focus is on finding agents that induces cell death while leaving non-tumorigenic cells less affected, a novel 2-methoxyestradiol derivative has come forth. 2-Methoxyestradiol-bis-sulfamate (2-MeOE2bisMATE) is a 2-methoxyestradiol derivative produced by bis-sulphamoylation, which possesses increased antiproliferative activity and biological availability. Several questions remain regarding the type of cell death mechanisms and possible induction of autophagy by 2-MeOE2bisMATE. The aim of this in vitro study was to investigate the cell death mechanisms exerted by 2-MeOE2bisMATE in an adenocarcinoma cell line (MCF-7) by analyzing its influence on cell growth, morphology, and possible induction of cell death. Spectrophotometry (crystal violet staining), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), light microscopy (hematoxylin and eosin staining), and fluorescent microscopy (Hoechst 33342, propidium iodide and acridine orange) were employed. Spectrophotometrical studies indicated that 2-MeOE2bisMATE decreased cell numbers to 75% in MCF-7 cells after 24 h and to 47% after 48 h of exposure. TEM demonstrated membrane blebbing, nuclear fragmentation, and chromatin condensation indicating the hallmarks of apoptosis. Light microscopy revealed the presence of several cells blocked in metaphase, and apoptotic cells were also observed. Fluorescent microscopy demonstrated increased lysosomal staining; suggesting the induction of autophagy. 2-MeOE2bisMATE shows therapeutic potential, as an, anticancer agent, and the investigation of the cell death mechanisms used by 2-MeOE2bisMATE, thus, warrants further investigation.


2-Methoxyestradiol-bis-sulfamate Apoptosis Autophagy MCF-7 



This study was supported by grants from the Medical Research Council of South Africa, the Cancer Association of South Africa, RESCOM (School of Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa), National Research Foundation, and the Struwig-Germeshuysen Cancer Research Trust of South Africa.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Pretoria, PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

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