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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Regulation of DNA synthesis and the cell cycle in human prostate cancer cells and lymphocytes by ovine uterine serpin

Maria B Padua and Peter J Hansen*

Author Affiliations

Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0910, USA

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BMC Cell Biology 2008, 9:5  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-9-5

Published: 24 January 2008

Abstract

Background

Uterine serpins are members of the serine proteinase inhibitor superfamily. Like some other serpins, these proteins do not appear to be functional proteinase inhibitors. The most studied member of the group, ovine uterine serpin (OvUS), inhibits proliferation of several cell types including activated lymphocytes, bovine preimplantation embryos, and cell lines for lymphoma, canine primary osteosarcoma and human prostate cancer (PC-3) cells. The goal for the present study was to evaluate the mechanism by which OvUS inhibits cell proliferation. In particular, it was tested whether inhibition of DNA synthesis in PC-3 cells involves cytotoxic actions of OvUS or the induction of apoptosis. The effect of OvUS in the production of the autocrine and angiogenic cytokine interleukin (IL)-8 by PC-3 cells was also determined. Finally, it was tested whether OvUS blocks specific steps in the cell cycle using both PC-3 cells and lymphocytes.

Results

Recombinant OvUS blocked proliferation of PC-3 cells at concentrations as low as 8 μg/ml as determined by measurements of [3H]thymidine incorporation or ATP content per well. Treatment of PC-3 cells with OvUS did not cause cytotoxicity or apoptosis or alter interleukin-8 secretion into medium. Results from flow cytometry experiments showed that OvUS blocked the entry of PC-3 cells into S phase and the exit from G2/M phase. In addition, OvUS blocked entry of lymphocytes into S phase following activation of proliferation with phytohemagglutinin.

Conclusion

Results indicate that OvUS acts to block cell proliferation through disruption of the cell cycle dynamics rather than induction of cytotoxicity or apoptosis. The finding that OvUS can regulate cell proliferation makes this one of only a few serpins that function to inhibit cell growth.