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Cancer Lett. 1999 Oct 18;145(1-2):1-8.

Inhibitory effect of mimosine on proliferation of human lung cancer cells is mediated by multiple mechanisms.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Kaohsiung Medical College, Taiwan.


The plant amino acid mimosine has been reported to block cell cycle progression in the late G1 phase. A recent study showed that mimosine might induce growth arrest by activating the expression of p21CIP1, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CDKI), and by inhibiting the activity of cyclin E-associated kinases in human breast cancer cells. However, mimosine at higher concentrations also blocked proliferation of p21-/- cells by unknown mechanisms. In this study, we investigated the effect of mimosine on the expression of cyclins and CDKIs in human lung cancer cells. We found that mimosine specifically inhibited cyclin D1 expression in H226 cells. The expression of another G1 cyclin, cyclin E, was not regulated by mimosine in all lung cancer cell lines examined. Moreover, mimosine induced p21CIP1 expression in H226 and H358 cells, while it activated p27KIP1 expression in H322 cells. However, mimosine does not affect transcription of these genes directly because significant changes in cyclin D1 or CDKI expression were observed at 12-24 h after drug addition. Our results indicate that mimosine may block cell proliferation by multiple mechanisms and this amino acid is a useful agent for the study of cell cycle control.

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