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Br J Cancer. 2000 Sep;83(6):833-9.

Ribozyme-mediated inactivation of mutant K-ras oncogene in a colon cancer cell line.

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Department of Pathology, Tokai University School of Medicine, Bohseidai, Isehara, Kanagawa, 259-1193, Japan.


Mutation of c-K-ras oncogene is an important step in progression of colon cancer. We used a hammerhead ribozyme (KrasRz) against mutated K-ras gene transcripts (codon 12, GTT) to inactivate mutant K-ras function in the colon cancer cell line SW480, harbouring a mutant K-ras gene. The beta-actin promoter-driven KrasRz sequence (pHbeta/KrasRz) was introduced into these cells (SW480/KrasRz), and we evaluated its effects on growth of the colon cancer. The gene expression of angiogenesis-related molecules (vascular endothelial growth factor and thrombospondin) was also estimated in SW480/KrasRz. KrasRz specifically and efficiently cleaved the mutant K-ras mRNA but not wild-type mRNA in vitro. SW480/KrasRz showed decreased growth rate under tissue culture conditions (P< 0.01, Dunnett's test). The xenotransplantability of SW480/KrasRz (XeSW480/KrasRz) was significantly decreased in nude mice (P< 0.05, Fisher's exact test). Tumour volume of the xenografts XeSW480/KrasRz was significantly smaller than that of XeSW480/DisKrasRz (P< 0.01, Dunnett's test). Gene expression of VEGF was suppressed in SW480/KrasRz, while TSP1 gene expression was enhanced. The SW480/KrasRz cells showed apoptosis-related features including nuclear condensation and DNA fragmentation. These results suggested that the hammerhead ribozyme-mediated inactivation of the mutated K-ras mRNA induced growth suppression, apoptosis and alteration of angiogenic factor expression.

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