Supra-additive growth inhibition by a celecoxib analogue and carboxyamido-triazole is primarily mediated through apoptosis

Mary E. Winters, Arpita I. Mehta, Emanuel F. Petricoin, Elise C. Kohn, Lance A. Liotta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Combination studies of celecoxib and chemotherapeutic agents suggest that combining cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors with other agents may have supra-additive or synergistic effects on tumor growth inhibition. Carboxyamido-triazole (CAI), a voltage-independent calcium channel inhibitor, has been shown to induce growth inhibition and apoptosis in cancer cells. We found that continuous exposure to cytostatic doses of CAI and LM-1685, a celecoxib analogue, reduced the proliferation and survival of seven human cancer cell lines by at least one log (P ≤ 0.001) over either agent alone. To explore the mechanism of action of this combination, we further studied the effects of LM-1685/CAI on CCL-250 colorectal carcinoma cells. We found that the supra-additive antiproliferative effects occurred throughout a range of LM-1685 doses (5-25 μmol/L) and paralleled a decrease in COX-2 activity as measured by prostaglandin E 2 production. In these cells, treatment with LM-1685/CAI suppressed the extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway within the first hour but ultimately results in high, sustained activation of ERK over a 9-day period (P = 0.0005). Suppression of cyclin D1 and phospho-AKT, and cleavage of caspase-3 and PARP were concomitant with persistent ERK activation. Addition of PD98059, a MEK-1 inhibitor, suppressed ERK activation and significantly but incompletely reversed these signaling events and apoptosis. Flow cytometry experiments revealed that the CAI/LM-1685 combination induced a 3-fold increase in apoptosis over control (P = 0.005) in 3 days. We show that the combination of CAI and LM-1685 produces a cytotoxic effect by suppressing proliferation and triggering apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3853-3860
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 2005
Externally publishedYes


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