KN-93, a membrane-permeant calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase-selective inhibitor, induces apoptosis in some lines of human tumor cells. We investigated the effect of KN-93 in the choriocarcinoma cell line, BeWo. BeWo cells were treated with various concentrations of KN-93, and changes in cell growth, the cell cycle, apoptosis, and related parameters were examined. A WST-1 assay showed that BeWo cells were sensitive to the growth inhibitory effect of KN-93. Cell cycle analysis indicated that exposure to KN-93 decreased the proportion of cells in the S phase and increased the proportion in the G0/G1 phases of the cell cycle. Induction of apoptosis was confirmed by Annexin V staining of externalized phosphatidylserine, by the loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential, and by antibodies directed against histones from fragmented DNA. This induction occurred in conjunction with the altered expression of genes related to cell growth, malignant phenotype, and apoptosis. These results suggest that KN-93 may serve as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of choriocarcinoma.
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This study was supported by a grant-in-aid (no. 21592139 to NT) for scientific research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Japan, and a research fund at the discretion of the President, Oita University (HN).
Conflicts of interest
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