Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 525–534

A small molecule pan-Bcl-2 family inhibitor, GX15-070, induces apoptosis and enhances cisplatin-induced apoptosis in non-small cell lung cancer cells

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00280-007-0499-3

Cite this article as:
Li, J., Viallet, J. & Haura, E.B. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol (2008) 61: 525. doi:10.1007/s00280-007-0499-3



Overexpression of Bcl-2 family members as well as deregulated apoptosis pathways are known hallmarks of lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells are typically resistant to cytotoxic chemotherapy and approaches that alter the balance between pro-survival and pro-death Bcl-2 family members have shown promise in preclinical models of NSCLC.


Here we evaluated the effects of a novel pan-Bcl-2 inhibitor GX15-070 on NSCLC survival and when combined with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors as well as traditional cytotoxic agents. GX15-070 is a small molecule agent that binds anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 proteins and interferes with their ability to interact with pro-apoptotic proteins. We evaluated the effect of GX15-070 and correlated the effect on EGFR status as well as Bcl-2 family protein expression.


We show that GX15-070 can disrupt Mcl-1:Bak interactions in lung cancer cells. We identified differential sensitivity of a panel of lung cancer cells to GX15-070 and no clear relationship existed between EGFR status or Bcl-2 family protein expression and sensitivity to GX15-070. GX15-070 could induce apoptosis in a subset of lung cancer cell lines and this correlated with the effects on cell viability. GX15-070 combined with gefitinib was synergistic in a cell line dependent on EGFR for survival but GX15-070 could not reverse resistance to gefitinib in cell lines not dependent on EGFR for survival. Finally, we observed synergy between GX15-070 and cisplatin in NSCLC cells.


Based on these results, GX15-070 can trigger apoptosis in NSCLC cells and can enhance chemotherapy-induced death. These data suggest that clinical trials with GX15-070 in combination with cytotoxic chemotherapy are indicated.


Mcl-1 Bcl-2 GX15-070 Lung cancer Apoptosis Chemotherapy 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thoracic Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics ProgramH. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research InstituteTampaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Interdisciplinary OncologyUniversity of South Florida College of MedicineTampaUSA
  3. 3.GeminX, IncMalvernUSA

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