Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.  2019 Sep;23(5):393-402. 10.4196/kjpp.2019.23.5.393.

Antitumor profiles and cardiac electrophysiological effects of aurora kinase inhibitor ZM447439

  • 1R&D Center for Advanced Pharmaceuticals & Evaluation, Korea Institute of Toxicology, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, Daejeon 34114, Korea. idkks@kitox.re.kr
  • 2Fertility Center, CHA Bunding Medical Center, CHA University, Seongnam 13496, Korea.


Aurora kinases inhibitors, including ZM447439 (ZM), which suppress cell division, have attracted a great deal of attention as potential novel anti-cancer drugs. Several recent studies have confirmed the anti-cancer effects of ZM in various cancer cell lines. However, there have been no studies regarding the cardiac safety of this agent. We performed several cytotoxicity, invasion and migration assays to examine the anti-cancer effects of ZM. To evaluate the potential effects of ZM on cardiac repolarisation, whole-cell patch-clamp experiments were performed with human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) and cells with heterogeneous cardiac ion channel expression. We also conducted a contractility assay with rat ventricular myocytes to determine the effects of ZM on myocardial contraction and/or relaxation. In tests to determine in vitro efficacy, ZM inhibited the proliferation of A549, H1299 (lung cancer), MCF-7 (breast cancer) and HepG2 (hepatoma) cell lines with ICâ‚…â‚€ in the submicromolar range, and attenuated the invasive and metastatic capacity of A549 cells. In cardiac toxicity testing, ZM did not significantly affect I(Na), I(Ks) or I(K1), but decreased I(hERG) in a dose-dependent manner (ICâ‚…â‚€: 6.53 µM). In action potential (AP) assay using hiPSC-CMs, ZM did not induce any changes in AP parameters up to 3 µM, but it at 10 µM induced prolongation of AP duration. In summary, ZM showed potent broad-spectrum anti-tumor activity, but relatively low levels of cardiac side effects compared to the effective doses to tumor. Therefore, ZM has a potential to be a candidate as an anti-cancer with low cardiac toxicity.


Anticancer agents; Aurora kinases inhibitor; Cardiotoxicity; Efficacy testing; ZM447439

MeSH Terms

Action Potentials
Antineoplastic Agents
Aurora Kinases
Cell Division
Cell Line
In Vitro Techniques
Ion Channels
Muscle Cells
Myocardial Contraction
Myocytes, Cardiac
Antineoplastic Agents
Ion Channels
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