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Oncogene. 1991 Nov;6(11):1983-9.

Effect of herbimycin A on growth and pp60c-src activity in human colon tumor cell lines.

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Department of Tumor Biology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030.


The effect of herbimycin A, an ansamycin antibiotic which inhibits cellular transformation by retroviral tyrosine kinases, on the monolayer growth of seven colon tumor cell lines and one cell line established from normal colonic mucosa, CCL239, was examined. Each colon tumor cell line tested showed dose-dependent growth inhibition in response to herbimycin A. A 125ng ml-1 dose of the antibiotic caused greater than 40% growth inhibition in all colon tumor cell lines after two cell doublings. In contrast, at similar herbimycin A concentrations only 12% inhibition was observed in 'normal' CCL239 cells. No major morphologic changes were observed at the light microscopic level in any of the tumor cell lines or CCL239 cells in response to treatment with herbimycin A. Studies using the HT29 colon adenocarcinoma cell line showed dose-dependent inactivation of pp60c-src by herbimycin A, resulting in decreased autophosphorylation, enolase phosphorylation and steady-state levels, which correlated with cellular growth inhibition. Herbimycin A-induced reductions in pp60c-src kinase activity preceded changes in pp60c-src steady-state levels. Growth and pp60c-src inhibition were reversible following removal of herbimycin A from cell culture media. Our results suggest that regulation of pp60c-src tyrosine kinase activity may be important in growth control of colon tumor cells.

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