Inositol hexaphosphate inhibits growth, and induces G1 arrest and apoptotic death of prostate carcinoma DU145 cells: modulation of CDKI-CDK-cyclin and pRb-related protein-E2F complexes

Carcinogenesis. 2003 Mar;24(3):555-63. doi: 10.1093/carcin/24.3.555.


Cancer chemopreventive effects of inositol hexaphosphate (IP6), a dietary constituent, have been demonstrated against a variety of experimental tumors, however, limited studies have been done against prostate cancer (PCA), and molecular mechanisms are not well defined. In the present study, we investigated the growth inhibitory effect and associated mechanisms of IP6 in advanced human PCA cells. Advanced human prostate carcinoma DU145 cells were used to study the anticancer effect of IP6. Flow cytometric analysis was performed for cell cycle progression and apoptosis studies. Western immunoblotting, immunoprecipitation and kinase assay were performed to investigate the involvement of G1 cell cycle regulators and their interplay, and end point markers of apoptosis. A significant dose- as well as time-dependent growth inhibition was observed in IP6-treated cells, which was associated with an increase in G1 arrest. IP6 strongly increased the expression of CDKIs (cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors), Cip1/p21 and Kip1/p27, without any noticeable changes in G1 CDKs and cyclins, except a slight increase in cyclin D2. IP6 inhibited kinase activities associated with CDK2, 4 and 6, and cyclin E and D1. Further studies showed the increased binding of Kip1/p27 and Cip1/p21 with cyclin D1 and E. In down-stream of CDKI-CDK/cyclin cascade, IP6 increased hypophosphorylated levels of Rb-related proteins, pRb/p107 and pRb2/p130, and moderately decreased E2F4 but increased its binding to both pRb/p107 and pRb2/p130. At higher doses and longer treatment times, IP6 caused a marked increase in apoptosis, which was accompanied by increased levels of cleaved PARP and active caspase 3. IP6 modulates CDKI-CDK-cyclin complex, and decreases CDK-cyclin kinase activity, possibly leading to hypophosphorylation of Rb-related proteins and an increased sequestration of E2F4. Higher doses of IP6 could induce apoptosis and that might involve caspases activation. These molecular alterations provide an insight into IP6-caused growth inhibition, G1 arrest and apoptotic death of human prostate carcinoma DU145 cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle Proteins*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases / metabolism*
  • Cyclins / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins*
  • E2F Transcription Factors
  • E2F4 Transcription Factor
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / metabolism*
  • G1 Phase / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phytic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Retinoblastoma Protein / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cyclins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • E2F Transcription Factors
  • E2F4 Transcription Factor
  • E2F4 protein, human
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Retinoblastoma Protein
  • Transcription Factors
  • Phytic Acid
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases