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Cancer Res. 2005 Feb 1;65(3):999-1006.

Ras inhibition in glioblastoma down-regulates hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha, causing glycolysis shutdown and cell death.

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Department of Neurobiochemistry, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, 66978 Tel-Aviv, Israel.


Active Ras and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase-dependent pathways contribute to the malignant phenotype of glioblastoma multiformes (GBM). Here we show that the Ras inhibitor trans-farnesylthiosalicylic acid (FTS) exhibits profound antioncogenic effects in U87 GBM cells. FTS inhibited active Ras and attenuated Ras signaling to extracellular signal-regulated kinase, phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase, and Akt. Concomitantly, hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha (HIF-1alpha) disappeared, expression of key glycolysis pathway enzymes and of other HIF-1alpha-regulated genes (including vascular endothelial growth factor and the Glut-1 glucose transporter) was down-regulated, and glycolysis was halted. This led to a dramatic reduction in ATP, resulting in a severe energy crisis. In addition, the expression of E2F-regulated genes was down-regulated in the FTS-treated cells. Consequently, U87 cell growth was arrested and the cells died. These results show that FTS is a potent down-regulator of HIF-1alpha and might therefore block invasiveness, survival, and angiogenesis in GBM.

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