The pyruvic acid analog 3-bromopyruvate interferes with the tetrazolium reagent MTS in the evaluation of cytotoxicity

Shanmugasundaram Ganapathy-Kanniappan, Jean Francois H. Geschwind, Rani Kunjithapatham, Manon Buijs, Labiq H. Syed, Pramod P. Rao, Shinichi Ota, Mustafa Vali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

3-Bromopyruvate (3BrPA) is a pyruvate analog known for its alkylating property. Recently, several reports have documented the antiglycolytic and anticancer effects of 3BrPA and its potential for therapeutic applications. 3BrPA-mediated cytotoxicity has been evaluated in vitro by various methods including tetrazolium salt (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H- tetrazolium bromide)-based assays such as MTT, MTS, and so on. However, growing body of evidences has shown that tetrazolium reagent may interfere with the test compounds. In this study, we investigated whether the tetrazolium reagent interferes with the assessment of 3BrPA cytotoxicity. The results of the tetrazolium-based MTS assay were compared with 3 distinct cell viability detection methods, that is, Trypan Blue staining, ATP depletion, and Annexin V staining in 2 different cell lines, Vx-2 and HepG2. The MTS assay data showed false positive results by indicating increased cell viability at 1 mM and 2 mM 3BrPA whereas the other cell viability assays demonstrated that both Vx-2 and HepG2 cells are not viable at the same treatment conditions. In order to validate the direct interaction of 3BrPA with MTS reagent, we tested cell-free media incubated with different concentrations of 3BrPA. The results of cell-free media showed an increase in absorbance in a dose-dependent manner confirming the interaction of MTS with 3BrPA. Thus, our data clearly demonstrate that 3BrPA interferes with the accuracy of MTS-based cytotoxicity evaluation. Hence, we suggest that employing multiple methods of biochemical as well as morphological cytotoxicity assays is critical to evaluate 3BrPA-mediated cell death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-262
Number of pages5
JournalAssay and Drug Development Technologies
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery

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