D-glucosamine inhibits proliferation of human cancer cells through inhibition of p70S6K

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Sep 7;360(4):840-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2007.06.137. Epub 2007 Jul 5.


Although D-glucosamine has been reported as an inhibitor of tumor growth both in vivo and in vitro, the mechanism for the anticancer effect of D-glucosamine is still unclear. Since there are several reports suggesting D-glucosamine inhibits protein synthesis, we examined whether D-glucosamine affects p70S6K activity, an important signaling molecule involved in protein translation. In the present study, we found D-glucosamine inhibited the activity of p70S6K and the proliferation of DU145 prostate cancer cells and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. D-glucosamine decreased phosphorylation of p70S6K, and its downstream substrates RPS6, and eIF-4B, but not mTOR and 4EBP1 in DU145 cells, suggesting that D-glucosamine induced inhibition of p70S6K is not through the inhibition of mTOR. In addition, D-glucosamine enhanced the growth inhibitory effects of rapamycin, a specific inhibitor of mTOR. These findings suggest that D-glucosamine can inhibit growth of cancer cells through dephosphorylation of p70S6K.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Glucosamine / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases, 70-kDa / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Sirolimus / pharmacology


  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases, 70-kDa
  • Glucosamine
  • Sirolimus