Targeted Oncology

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 565–573 | Cite as

A combination of the telomerase inhibitor, BIBR1532, and paclitaxel synergistically inhibit cell proliferation in breast cancer cell lines

  • Yi Shi
  • Lin Sun
  • Ge Chen
  • Dongyan Zheng
  • Li LiEmail author
  • Wanguo WeiEmail author
Original Research


Breast cancer is one of the most significant causes of female cancer death worldwide. Paclitaxel, an extensively used breast cancer chemotherapeutic has limited success due to drug resistance. 2-[(E)-3-naphtalen-2-yl-but-2-enoylamino]-benzoic acid (BIBR1532), a small molecule pharmacological inhibitor of telomerase activity, can inhibit human cancer cell proliferation as well. Thus, to enhance breast cancer treatment efficacy, we studied the combination of BIBR1532 and paclitaxel in breast cancer cell lines. Cell viability assays revealed that BIBR1532 or paclitaxel alone inhibited proliferation in a dose-dependent manner, and combining the drugs synergistically induced growth inhibition in all breast cell lines tested independent of their p53, ER, and HER2 status. The drug combination also synergistically inhibited colony formation of MCF-7 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Annexin V-PI staining and Western blot assays on PARP cleavage and caspase-8 and caspase-3 revealed that BIBR1532 in combination with paclitaxel was more potent than either agent alone in promoting MCF-7 cell apoptosis. Cell cycle analysis indicated that BIBR1532 induced a G1 phase arrest and paclitaxel arrested cells at the G2/M phase. The drug combination dramatically blocked S cells from entering the G2/M phase. Our results suggest the potential of telomerase inhibition as an effective breast cancer treatment and that used in conjunction with paclitaxel; it may potentiate tumor cytotoxicity.


Telomerase inhibitor BIBR1532 Paclitaxel Breast cancer Apoptosis 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21202100) and the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA01040302).

Conflict of interest

Y Shi, L Sun, G Chen, D Zheng, L Li, and W Wei have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shanghai Advanced Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiChina
  2. 2.School of Life Science and TechnologyShanghaiTech UniversityShanghaiChina

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