Targeting CDKs with roscovitine increases sensitivity to DNA damaging drugs of human osteosarcoma cells

Serena Vella, Elisa Tavanti, Claudia Hattinger, Marilù Fanelli, Rogier Versteeg, Jan Koster, Piero Picci, Massimo Serra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) has been reported to be essential for cell proliferation in several human tumours and it has been suggested as an appropriate target to be considered in order to enhance the efficacy of treatment regimens based on the use of DNA damaging drugs. We evaluated the clinical impact of CDK2 overexpression on a series of 21 high-grade osteosarcoma (OS) samples profiled by using cDNA microarrays. We also assessed the in vitro efficacy of the CDKs inhibitor roscovitine in a panel of drug-sensitive and drug-resistant human OS cell lines. OS tumour samples showed an inherent overexpression of CDK2, and high expression levels at diagnosis of this kinase appeared to negatively impact on clinical outcome. CDK2 expression also proved to be relevant for in vitro OS cells growth. These findings indicated CDK2 as a promising candidate therapeutic marker for OS and therefore we assessed the efficacy of the CDKs-inhibitor roscovitine in both drug-sensitive and -resistant OS cell lines. All cell lines resulted to be responsive to roscovitine, which was also able to increase the activity of cisplatin and doxorubicin, the two most active DNA damaging drugs used in OS chemotherapy. Our results indicated that combined treatment with conventional OS chemotherapeutic drugs and roscovitine may represent a new candidate intervention approach, which may be considered to enhance tumour cell sensitivity to DNA damaging drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0166233
Number of pages20
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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