Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Digitoxin inhibits the growth of cancer cell lines at concentrations commonly found in cardiac patients

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Miguel Lopez-Lazaro, Sami Azrak, Dr Muhammad Ayub, Professor Caroline AustinORCiD


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


The cardiac glycosides digitoxin (1) and digoxin (3) have been used in cardiac diseases for many years. During this time several reports have suggested the possible use of digitalis in medical oncology. Several analogues of digitoxin (1) were evaluated for growth inhibition activity in three human cancer cell lines; this study showed that digitoxin (1) was the most active compound and revealed some structural features that may play a role in the growth inhibition activity of these drugs. The IC50 values for 1 (3-33 nM) were within or below the concentration range seen in the plasma of patients with cardiac disease receiving this glycoside (20-33 nM). A renal adenocarcinoma cancer cell line (TK-10) was hypersensitive to this drug, and digitoxin toxicity on these cells was mediated by apoptosis. In vitro experiments showed that 1 at 30 nM induced levels of DNA-topoisomerase II cleavable complexes similar to etoposide, a topoisomerase II poison widely used in cancer chemotherapy. Using the individual cell assay TARDIS, cells exposed to 1 for 30 min showed low but statistically significant levels of DNA-topoisomerase II cleavable complexes; however these complexes disappeared after 24 h exposure. © 2005 American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lopez-Lazaro M, Pastor N, Azrak SS, Ayuso MJ, Austin CA, Cortes F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Natural Products

Year: 2005

Volume: 68

Issue: 11

Pages: 1642-1645

ISSN (print): 0163-3864

ISSN (electronic): 1520-6025

Publisher: American Chemical Society


DOI: 10.1021/np050226l

PubMed id: 16309315


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric