Growth inhibition of astrocytoma cells by farnesyl transferase inhibitors is mediated by a combination of anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic and anti-angiogenic effects

Oncogene. 1999 Dec 9;18(52):7514-26. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1203105.

Abstract

While 25% of human cancers harbor oncogenic Ras mutations, such mutations are not found in astrocytomas. We have previously demonstrated that the activation of receptor tyrosine kinases expressed by malignant human astrocytoma cells and specimens results in functional upregulation of the Ras signalling pathway and increased levels of activated Ras*GTP. Farnesyl transferase inhibitors (FTIs) are promising anti-cancer agents in early clinical trials, which may exert their effect through pharmacological inhibition of the Ras signalling pathway. In this study we establish the anti-tumorigenic properties of the FTI L-744,832 against a panel of malignant human astrocytoma cell lines. Furthermore, we demonstrate the multiple mechanisms by which L-744,832 exerts its effect. L-744,832 demonstrates both cytostatic and cytotoxic effects on astrocytoma cells, and cells expressing a truncated constitutively phosphorylated Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor common in high-grade astrocytomas (EGFRvIII/p140EGF-R) demonstrate increased sensitivity to the agent. L-744,832 is capable of inducing apoptosis in astrocytoma cells under anchorage-dependent conditions; this process occurs in a p53-independent manner and is associated with increased expression of Bax and Bak. L-744,832 also induces cell cycle arrest at both the G1/M and G2/S checkpoints; this process is also independent of p53 mutational status. Cell cycle arrest in drug-treated cells can be accompanied by induction of p21WAF1/CIP1, but this induction is not necessary for the cell cycle inhibitory effects, nor is it dependent on functional p53. Finally, angiogenesis in astrocytomas has been shown to be dependent on secretion of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) by tumour cells, particularly under hypoxic conditions. L-744,832 potently inhibits the secretion of VEGF under hypoxic conditions. These combinations of mechanisms suggest that these tumours, despite the absence of oncogenic Ras mutations, will be amenable to growth inhibition by FTIs, through a combination of anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic, and anti-angiogenic effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Astrocytoma / drug therapy*
  • Astrocytoma / pathology
  • Bromodeoxyuridine / pharmacokinetics
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / pathology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • ErbB Receptors / drug effects
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Farnesyltranstransferase
  • Genes, ras
  • Growth Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Lymphokines / metabolism
  • Lymphokines / pharmacology
  • Membrane Proteins / drug effects
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Methionine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Methionine / pharmacology
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1 / drug effects
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1 / metabolism
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / drug effects
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Myelin Basic Protein / drug effects
  • Myelin Basic Protein / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / drug therapy
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / drug effects
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / drug effects
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • bcl-2 Homologous Antagonist-Killer Protein
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein

Substances

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • BAK1 protein, human
  • BAX protein, human
  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Growth Inhibitors
  • L 744832
  • Lymphokines
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Myelin Basic Protein
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • bcl-2 Homologous Antagonist-Killer Protein
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • Methionine
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases
  • Farnesyltranstransferase
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Bromodeoxyuridine