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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2002;12(1):19-30.

Simvastatin inhibits malignant transformation following expression of the Ha-ras oncogene in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts.

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Department of Physiology, University of Innsbruck, Fritz-Pregl-Strasse 3, A-6010 Innsbruck, Austria.


In previous studies we have shown that the expression of the transforming Ha-ras oncogene in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts stimulates cellular calcium entry, which triggers oscillatory calcium induced calcium release from internal stores. The intracellular calcium oscillations lead to cytoskeletal remodeling by actin stress fiber depolymerization and activation of the Na(+)/H(+) exchanger thus mediating cell swelling and intracellular alkalosis, both important mitogenic signals. This is evidenced by abrogation of Ha-ras induced growth factor independent cell proliferation by interference with any of these events, i.e. by inhibition of cellular calcium entry or inhibition of the Na(+)/H(+) exchanger. As shown in this study, simvastatin, an inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, the key enzyme for cholesterol biosynthesis, is able to prevent these events following the expression of the transforming Ha-ras oncogene. We show, that simvastatin inhibits farnesylation dependent membrane translocation of a CAAX motive bearing yellow fluorescent protein and suppresses Ha-ras stimulated cellular calcium influx, which can be identified as capacitative calcium entry. In addition simvastatin is able to block regulatory volume decrease channels and to suppress the cytoskeletal remodeling, intracellular alkalinization, increase in cell volume and growth factor independent cell proliferation induced by the oncogene. Thus simvastatin is able to prevent crucial cellular events following expression of the transforming Ha-ras oncogene.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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