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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2002 Mar;300(3):890-9.

Differential modulation of signaling pathways and apoptosis of ras-transformed 10T1/2 cells by the depsipeptide FR901228.

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  • 1Department of Comparative Medicine, the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, USA.


(E)-(1S,4S,10S,21R)-7-[(Z)-ethylidene]-4,21-diisopropyl-2-oxa-12,13-dithia-5,8,20,23-tetraazabicyclo[8,7,6]-tricos-16-ene-3,6,9,19,22-pentanone (FR901228), a natural anticancer depsipeptide, induces apoptosis of ras-transformed 10T1/2 cells whereas it induces growth arrest of nontransformed counterpart cells in G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle. Our study of the effect of FR901228 treatment on intracellular signaling pathways reveals a discriminating activity of FR901228 to regulate signaling cascades differently in ras-transformed 10T1/2 cells and nontransformed counterpart cells. Induction of apoptosis of ras-transformed cells by FR901228 correlates with suppression of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathway through reduction of Raf expression and deactivation of Mek and Erk, inhibition of the phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3-K) pathway indexed by suppression of Akt activity, suppression of p38 activity, and activation of caspase-3. Expression of p21(Cip1) is not induced in ras-transformed cultures undergoing apoptosis induced by FR901228. In contrast, FR901228 induces p21(Cip1) expression in nontransformed counterpart cultures growth-arrested in G0/G1 that is also accompanied by moderate induction of the kinase activities of Raf, Mek, Erk, and Akt, but not accompanied by activation of caspase-3 or changes in p38 activity. Our study indicates a potential value of FR901228 in the treatment of cancer cells involving aberrant regulation of Ras through preferential induction of the caspase cascade and suppression of the ERK, PI3-K, and p38 pathways.

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