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Anticancer Drugs. 2006 Aug;17(7):815-23.

Effect of wheat leaf ribonuclease on tumor cells and tissues.

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Laboratory of Genetics, Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Science of the Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.


The antiproliferative and antitumor effect of wheat leaf ribonuclease was tested in vitro on the human ML-2 cell line and in vivo on athymic nude mice bearing human melanoma tumors. The antiproliferative activity of this plant ribonuclease was negligible in comparison with bovine seminal ribonuclease. In the experiments in vivo, a significant decrease of the tumor size, however, was observed in the mice treated with wheat leaf ribonuclease (27 kDa) compared with the control RNase A and polyethylene glycol. In nude mice injected intratumoraly with wheat leaf ribonuclease, the tumor size decreased from 100% in the control mice to 39% in treated mice. In the mice treated with polyethylene glycol-conjugated wheat leaf ribonuclease, the tumor reduction was observed from 100 to 28%, whereas in counterparts treated with polyethylene glycol-conjugated bovine seminal ribonuclease the tumor inhibition was reduced from 100 to 33%. Certain aspermatogenic and embryotoxic activity of wheat leaf ribonuclease and bovine seminal ribonuclease also appeared, but was lower in comparison with the effect of onconase. Mutual immunological cross-reactivity between wheat leaf ribonuclease antigens on one side and animal RNases (bovine seminal ribonuclease, RNase A, human HP-RNase and onconase) on the other side proved a certain structural similarity between animal and plant ribonucleases. Immunogenicity of wheat leaf ribonuclease was weaker in comparison with bovine seminal ribonuclease (titer of antibodies 160-320 against 1280-2560 in bovine seminal ribonuclease). Interestingly, immunosuppressive effect of wheat leaf ribonuclease tested on mixed lymphocyte culture-stimulated human lymphocytes reached the same level as that of bovine seminal RNase. The antibodies against wheat leaf ribonuclease produced in the injected mice did not inactivate the biological effect of this plant RNase in vivo. This is probably the first paper in which plant ribonuclease was used as antiproliferative and antitumor drug against animal and human normal and tumor cells and tissues in comparison with animal ribonucleases.

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