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Cancer Lett. 1996 Dec 3;109(1-2):217-22.

Inhibition of lung tumor cell growth in vitro and mouse lung tumor formation by lovastatin.

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Medical College of Ohio, Toledo 43699-0008, USA.


The HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, lovastatin (LOV), has been reported to inhibit Ras farnesylation and the growth of Ras-transformed cells. Mouse lung tumors and human lung adenocarcinomas often have activating mutations in K-ras alleles. In the present study, we determined whether LOV inhibited the growth in vitro of mouse (C10, E9, LM1, LM2, and 82-132) and human (NCl-H125, H292, H441, H460, and H661) nor-transformed and neoplastically transformed lung epithelial cells and whether growth inhibition was related to cell transformation or K-ras activation. LOV inhibited the growth of mouse and human lung cells, but cell sensitivities were unrelated to neoplastic transformation or K-ras mutation. In addition, we evaluated whether LOV could inhibit the formation of lung adenomas induced by the tobacco-specific nitrosamine, 4-(N-methyl-N-nitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) in mice. LOV was administered in the diet at 0, 40, 160, or 400 ppm ad libitum to male strain A/J mice beginning 1 week after lung tumor induction with NNK (10 mumol/mouse). Mice were euthanized 6 months later. Enumeration of lung tumors revealed that LOV did not affect tumor incidence or size, but significantly reduced tumor multiplicity in a dose-related manner. These data suggest that LOV can suppress the formation of NNK-induced lung tumors, possibly at an early promotional stage. This suppression does not appear to be related to either the presence of mutated K-ras or to changes in K-ras expression.

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