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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Dec;1091:346-55.

Retinoic acid and histone deacetylase inhibitor BML-210 inhibit proliferation of human cervical cancer HeLa cells.

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Department of Developmental Biology, Institute of Biochemistry, LT-08662 Vilnius, Lithuania.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is believed to be the central cause of cervical cancer. The viral proteins E6 and E7 from high-risk HPV types prevent cells from differentiating apoptosis and inducing hyperproliferative lesions. Human cervical carcinoma HeLa cells contain integrated human papillomavirus type 18 (HPV-18). Retinoic acid (RA) is a key regulator of epithelial cell differentiation and a growth inhibitor in vitro of HeLa cervical carcinoma cells. Cellular responses to RA are mediated by nuclear retinoic acid receptors (RARs) and retinoid X receptors. On the other hand, histone deacetylase inhibitors have been shown to be chemopreventive agents for the treatment of cancer cells. In this article, we have examined the antiproliferative effect of RA and histone deacetylase inhibitor BML-210 on HeLa cells, and particularly the effects on protein expression that may be involved in the cell cycle control and apoptosis. Our data suggest that a combination of RA and BML-210 leads to cell growth inhibition with subsequent apoptosis in a treatment time-dependent manner. We confirm that BML-210 alone or in combination with RA causes a marked increase in the level of p21. The changes in the p53 level are under the influence of p38 phosphorylation. We also discovered that the histone deacetylase inhibitor BML-210 causes increased levels of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 and phosphorylated p38 MAP Kinase; the latter link in cell cycle arrest with response to extracellular stimuli. Our results suggest that RA and BML-210 are involved in different signaling pathways that regulate cell cycle arrest and lead to apoptosis of HeLa cells.

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