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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

In vitro and in vivo effects of geranylgeranyltransferase I inhibitor P61A6 on non-small cell lung cancer cells

Drazen B Zimonjic1, Lai N Chan2, Veenu Tripathi1, Jie Lu2, Ohyun Kwon3, Nicholas C Popescu1, Douglas R Lowy4 and Fuyuhiko Tamanoi2*

Author Affiliations

1 Molecular Cytogenetics Section, Lab. of Experimental Carcinogenesis, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

2 Department of Microbio., Immunol. & Molec. Genet., Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

3 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

4 Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

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BMC Cancer 2013, 13:198  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-198

Published: 22 April 2013

Abstract

Background

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality. Therapies against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are particularly needed, as this type of cancer is relatively insensitive to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. We recently identified GGTI compounds that are designed to block geranylgeranylation and membrane association of signaling proteins including the Rho family G-proteins. One of the GGTIs is P61A6 which inhibits proliferation of human cancer cells, causes cell cycle effects with G1 accumulation and exhibits tumor-suppressing effects with human pancreatic cancer xenografts. In this paper, we investigated effects of P61A6 on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells in vitro and in vivo.

Methods

Three non-small cell lung cancer cell lines were used to test the ability of P61A6 to inhibit cell proliferation. Further characterization involved analyses of geranylgeranylation, membrane association and activation of RhoA, and anchorage-dependent and –independent growth, as well as cell cycle effects and examination of cell cycle regulators. We also generated stable cells expressing RhoA-F, which bypasses the geranylgeranylation requirement of wild type RhoA, and examined whether the proliferation inhibition by P61A6 is suppressed in these cells. Tumor xenografts of NSCLC cells growing in nude mice were also used to test P61A6’s tumor-suppressing ability.

Results

P61A6 was shown to inhibit proliferation of NSCLC lines H358, H23 and H1507. Detailed analysis of P61A6 effects on H358 cells showed that P61A6 inhibited geranylgeranylation, membrane association of RhoA and caused G1 accumulation associated with decreased cyclin D1/2. The effects of P61A6 to inhibit proliferation could mainly be ascribed to RhoA, as expression of the RhoA-F geranylgeranylation bypass mutant rendered the cells resistant to inhibition by P61A6. We also found that P61A6 treatment of H358 tumor xenografts growing in nude mice reduced their growth as well as the membrane association of RhoA in the tumors.

Conclusion

Thus, P61A6 inhibits proliferation of NSCLC cells and causes G1 accumulation associated with decreased cyclin D1/2. The result with the RhoA-F mutant suggests that the effect of P61A6 to inhibit proliferation is mainly through the inhibition of RhoA. P61A6 also shows efficacy to inhibit growth of xenograft tumor.

Keywords:
Geranylgeranyltransferase I inhibitor; P61A6; Lung cancer; RhoA; Deleted in liver cancer 1