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Blood. 1996 Dec 15;88(12):4611-9.

Lovastatin inhibits T-cell antigen receptor signaling independent of its effects on ras.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Iowa City 52242, USA.


Lovastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug, has antiproliferative properties that may be related to its inhibition of protein isoprenylation. We examined the effects of lovastatin on signal transduction via the T-cell antigen receptor (TCR). Lovastatin inhibited both proximal and distal TCR-mediated signaling events in a time- and concentration-dependent manner in the human Jurkat T-cell line. Upregulation of CD69 surface expression after TCR stimulation was blocked by lovastatin, although no inhibition of phorbol ester-induced CD69 expression was noted. Proximal TCR-mediated signaling events, including intracellular calcium mobilization, inositol phosphate production, and tyrosine phosphorylation of phospholipase Cgamma1, were similarly inhibited by lovastatin, although global protein tyrosine kinase activity remained intact. In a Jurkat variant transfected with the human type-1 muscarinic receptor, lovastatin also inhibited TCR-mediated calcium mobilization and inositol phosphate production but failed to affect muscarinic receptor-induced responses. Lovastatin, at similar doses, also disrupted post-translational processing of ras and inhibited ras-dependent signals, including phosphorylation and activation of mitogen-associated protein kinase after TCR stimulation. These findings suggest that the antiproliferative properties of lovastatin may be independent of ras and could result from uncoupling protein tyrosine kinases from distinct signal transduction pathways.

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