The imidazoacridinone C-1311 induces p53-dependent senescence or p53-independent apoptosis and sensitizes cancer cells to radiation.
Skwarska A., Ramachandran S., Dobrynin G., Leszczynska KB., Hammond EM.
C-1311 is a small molecule, which has shown promise in a number of pre-clinical and clinical studies. However, the biological response to C-1311 exposure is complicated and has been reported to involve a number of cell fates. Here, we investigated the molecular signaling which determines the response to C-1311 in both cancer and non-cancer cell lines. For the first time we demonstrate that the tumor suppressor, p53 plays a key role in cell fate determination after C-1311 treatment. In the presence of wild-type p53, cells exposed to C-1311 entered senescence. In contrast, cells lines without functional p53 underwent mitotic catastrophe and apoptosis. C-1311 also induced autophagy in a non-p53-dependent manner. Cells in hypoxic conditions also responded to C-1311 in a p53-dependent manner, suggesting that our observations are physiologically relevant. Most importantly, we show that C-1311 can be effectively combined with radiation to improve the radiosensitivity of a panel of cancer cell lines. Together, our data suggest that C-1311 warrants further clinical testing in combination with radiotherapy for the treatment of solid tumors.