UCN-01 (7-hydroxystaurosporine) inhibits the growth of various malignant cell lines in vitro and in vivo. In this study, a human small cell lung carcinoma subline resistant to UCN-01, SBC-3/UCN, was established and characterized. SBC-3/UCN cells showed 8-fold greater resistance to the UCN-01-induced growth-inhibitory effect than the parent cells, SBC-3. No UCN-01-induced G1 accumulation in SBC-3 cells was observed in SBC-3/UCN cells and decreased expression of phosphorylated RB protein was found in SBC-3 cells. Neither basal expression nor induction of p21(Cip1) by UCN-01 treatment was detected in the SBC-3/UCN cell line. An inhibitory effect of UCN-01 on CDK2 activity, which is mediated by p21(Cip1)/CDK2 complex formation upon UCN-01 treatment, was observed in SBC-3 but not in SBC-3/UCN cells. SBC-3/UCN showed higher CDK6 activity than SBC-3 cells. UCN-01 did not inhibit the CDK4 and CDK6 activities in both cells. We screened the cell cycle regulatory molecules associated with G(1)/S progression and found a remarked decrease in interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF-1), which is known to cooperate with p53 in p21(Cip1) induction. Our results suggest that p21(Cip1) regulation via the IRF-1-associated pathway may represent a major determinant of UCN-01-induced growth inhibition in human lung cancer cells.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.