Camptothecin (CPT) reversibly binds and stabilizes cleavable complexes formed between DNA and topoisomerase I (Top1), thereby activating many downstream signaling pathways. Although several pathways induced by CPT have been elucidated, there are additional proteins that represent targets of CPT pharmacological mechanisms and remain uncharacterized. Using two-dimensional electrophoresis analysis and matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF)-MS/MS identification, we investigated the hepatocellular carcinoma cell line SMMC-7721 for changes of protein expression following CPT treatment. Proteomic results showed that CPT treatment caused decreased expression of galectin-1 in SMMC-7721 cells. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis confirmed mRNA expression changes in galectin-1. Protein expression levels of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) were downregulated in response to CPT. The DNMT inhibitor 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (DAC) sensitized SMMC-7721 cells to the cytotoxic effect of CPT. Our results indicate that inhibition of DNMT activity by CPT may play a role in CPT-induced cell proliferation inhibition and apoptosis.
2009 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan