Geranylgeraniol is a potent inducer of apoptosis in tumor cells

J Biochem. 1995 Jan;117(1):11-3. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.jbchem.a124695.


We screened various isoprenoids to find inducers of apoptosis for human leukemia HL-60 cells, and found that GGO (geranylgeraniol) had the most potent apoptosis-inducing activity, as judged from DNA fragmentation in HL-60 cells. The apoptosis-inducing activity of GGO is concentration- and time-dependent. DNA synthesis by HL-60 cells was selectively inhibited on treatment with GGO. Besides HL-60 cells, apoptosis was induced by GGO in various tumor cell lines, including human myeloid multipotential leukemia K562, lymphoblastic leukemia Molt3, and colon adenocarcinoma COLO320 DM.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Diterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / pathology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Diterpenes
  • geranylgeraniol