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J Cell Biochem. 2008 May 1;104(1):189-201.

A combined treatment of HeLa cells with the farnesyl protein transferase inhibitor L-744,832 and cisplatin significantly increases the therapeutic effect as compared to cisplatin monotherapy.

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  • 1Cell Cycle Regulation Group, Department of Medicine I, Institute of Cancer Research, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


Activating mutations of Ras that frequently occur during malignant transformation, enhance growth-promoting signal transduction, allowing cells to bypass stringent control of cell cycle progression, thereby rendering them highly proliferative. Abundantly expressed c-Ha-ras protein in human cervical HeLa cells is farnesylated and attached to the plasma membrane, inducing enhanced signal transduction. Exposure of HeLa cells to cisplatin very efficiently inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis. Unfortunately, high doses of cisplatin are strongly cytotoxic, therefore, an alternative therapeutic strategy allowing dose reduction of cisplatin by inhibition of farnesylation could increase the curative effects of cisplatin, thereby benefiting cancer patients. We used two inhibitors of farnesyl protein transferase (FPTase), FTI, and L-744,832, to sensitize HeLa cells to the action of cisplatin. The combined administration of cisplatin and inhibitors of FPTase increased the cytostatic potency of cisplatin. L-744,832 exhibited a stronger synergistic effect in combination with cisplatin than FTI. Moreover, the efficiency of the combined therapy strongly depended on the treatment regimen: The highest efficiency was achieved after combined treatment for 24 h and post-incubation with an inhibitor of FPTase for 48 h. Following this optimized treatment, apoptosis was induced in approximately 50% of HeLa cells treated with 1 microM cisplatin, representing approximately a threefold increase as compared to cisplatin monotherapy. Combined treatment of HeLa cells with cisplatin and inhibitors of FPTase significantly increases the efficacy of the therapy and allows to reduce the dose of cisplatin. Importantly, best therapeutic effects can be achieved by post-treatment with inhibitors of FPTase.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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