Cesium reversibly suppresses HeLa cell proliferation by inhibiting cellular metabolism

FEBS Lett. 2017 Mar;591(5):718-727. doi: 10.1002/1873-3468.12579. Epub 2017 Feb 21.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of Cs+ on cultured human cells. We find that HeLa cell growth is suppressed by the addition of 10 mm CsCl into the culture media. In the Cs+ -treated cells, the intracellular Cs+ and K+ concentrations are increased and decreased, respectively. This leads to a decrease in activity of the glycolytic enzyme pyruvate kinase, which uses K+ as a cofactor. Cs+ -treated cells show an intracellular pH shift towards alkalization. Based on these results, CsCl presumably suppresses HeLa cell proliferation by inducing an intracellular cation imbalance that affects cell metabolism. Our findings may have implications for the use of Cs+ in cancer therapy.

Keywords: cell cycle; cesium; proliferation.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cations, Monovalent
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cesium / metabolism
  • Cesium / pharmacology*
  • Chlorides / pharmacology*
  • Culture Media / chemistry
  • Glycolysis / drug effects*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Potassium / metabolism
  • Pyruvate Kinase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Pyruvate Kinase / metabolism


  • Cations, Monovalent
  • Chlorides
  • Culture Media
  • Cesium
  • Pyruvate Kinase
  • cesium chloride
  • Potassium