Hypoxia enhances the antiglioma cytotoxicity of b10, a glycosylated derivative of betulinic acid

Sebastian Fischer, Michael W. Ronellenfitsch, Anna Luisa Thiepold, Patrick N. Harter, Sebastian Reichert, Donat Kögel, Reinhard Paschke, Michel Mittelbronn, Michael Weller, Joachim P. Steinbach, Simone Fulda, Oliver Bähr

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12 Citations (Scopus)


B10 is a glycosylated derivative of betulinic acid with promising activity against glioma cells. Lysosomal cell death pathways appear to be essential for its cytotoxicity. We investigated the influence of hypoxia, nutrient deprivation and current standard therapies on B10 cytotoxicity. The human glioma cell lines LN-308 and LNT-229 were exposed to B10 alone or together with irradiation, temozolomide, nutrient deprivation or hypoxia. Cell growth and viability were evaluated by crystal violet staining, clonogenicity assays, propidium iodide uptake and LDH release assays. Cell death was examined using an inhibitor of lysosomal acidification (bafilomycin A1), a cathepsin inhibitor (CA074-Me) and a short-hairpin RNA targeting cathepsin B. Hypoxia substantially enhanced B10-induced cell death. This effect was sensitive to bafilomycin A1 and thus dependent on hypoxia-induced lysosomal acidification. Cathepsin B appeared to mediate cell death because either the inhibitor CA074-Me or cathepsin B gene silencing rescued glioma cells from B10 toxicity under hypoxia. B10 is a novel antitumor agent with substantially enhanced cytotoxicity under hypoxia conferred by increased lysosomal cell death pathway activation. Given the importance of hypoxia for therapy resistance, malignant progression, and as a result of antiangiogenic therapies, B10 might be a promising strategy for hypoxic tumors like malignant glioma. Copyright:

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere94921
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


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