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Differentiation. 1997 Aug;61(5):313-20.

Growth inhibition of cultured human gastric cancer cells by 9-cis-retinoic acid with induction of cdk inhibitor Waf1/Cip1/Sdi1/p21 protein.

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First Department of Pathology, Hiroshima University School of Medicine, Japan.


The effect of 9-cis-retinoic acid (9-cis-RA) on the growth of eight gastric cancer cell lines was related to their transcription levels of mRNAs for retinoid receptors. Northern blot analysis showed that seven (TMK-1, MKN-1, -28, -45, -74, HSC-39, KATO-III) out of eight gastric cancer cell lines synthesized mRNAs for retinoic acid receptors (RARs) and retinoid X receptor-alpha (RXR-alpha). MKN-7 cells did not transcribe either RARs or RXR-alpha at the mRNA level although they appeared to have no alterations at the gene level. The growth of all of the cell lines except for MKN-7 cells was inhibited by 1 x 10(-6) M 9-cis-RA. Cell cycle distribution analysis revealed that G0-G1 arrest was not induced by exposure to 9-cis-RA in the sensitive TMK-1 and KATO-III cells or the resistant MKN-7 cells. Interestingly, 9-cis-RA temporarily increased the amount of the cyclin dependent kinase (cdk) inhibitor, Waf1/Cip1/Sdi1/p21 protein, and also reduced the amount of cdk-7, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and cyclin D1 proteins, followed by reduction in phosphorylation of the product of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor gene (Rb) in the sensitive TMK-1 cells, but not in the resistant MKN-7 cells. These results suggest that 9-cis-RA has a cytostatic effect on gastric cancer cells that synthesize the receptor molecules through cell cycle regulatory machinery.

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