Affiliation: Callerio Foundation Onlus, Via A. Fleming 22-31/b, 34127 Trieste.
We investigated the molecular events of the ruthenium complex NAMI-A (0.1 mM for 1 h) on cell cycle G2-M arrest in KB carcinoma cells. Flow cytometry analysis showed a progressive accumulation of cells in S phase at 16 h, and in G2-M phase at 20 h after the end of treatment. NAMI-A pre-mitotic stop to cell proliferation was due to the maintenance of the phosphorylated, inactive, form of Cdk1, caused by the activation of the ATM/ATR checkpoint, as confirmed by the up-regulation and phosphorylation of Chk1. All these events are related to intracellular ruthenium accumulation, as confirmed by the lack of similar effects in cell lines unable to take the ruthenium compound up. Considering the dependence of NAMI-A cell cycle arrest on the dose and on the length of cell challenge, and considering the prolonged NAMI-A t1/2 in vivo in the lungs, we proved an even greater perturbation of the cell cycle regulating pathways in lung metastases of NAMI-A treated mice. The ex-vivo data confirm the interaction of the ruthenium compound NAMI-A with the ATM/ATR pathway, leading to the modulation of cell cycle regulating proteins, that can break the metastases cell cycle progression off.