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Exp Cell Res. 1998 Aug 1;242(2):381-90.

Regulation of the cell cycle at the G2/M boundary in metastatic melanoma cells by 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) by blocking p34cdc2 kinase activity.

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Oncology Research Lab, Winthrop University Hospital, 222 Station Plaza North No. 300, Mineola, New York, 11501, USA.


12-O-Tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) inhibits the growth of most malignant melanoma cells but stimulates the growth of normal human melanocytes. We previously showed that addition of TPA inhibits the growth of the human metastatic melanoma cell line, Demel, by blocking cells at both the G1/S and G2/M cell cycle transitions (D. L. Coppock et al., 1992, Cell Growth Differ. 3, 485-494). To examine the G2/M transition, we developed a method to synchronize the cells in early S phase using Lovastatin and mevalonate, followed by treatment with hydroxyurea (HU). TPA (30 nM) was effective in blocking cells from entering mitosis and reentering G1 when added up to the end of G2. These cells arrested in G2. Examination of the levels of cyclins A and B1 demonstrated that the levels of these cyclins were not limiting for entrance into M. However, the addition of TPA blocked the increase in p34(cdc2)/cyclin B1 kinase activity. In cells treated with TPA, most p34(cdc2) was found in the slowly migrating forms on Western blots, which contained increased levels of phosphotyrosine. In addition, the level of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21(Cip1/Waf1), but not of p27(Kip1), was increased. We examined the expression of protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms in Demel cells using Western blots to understand which types were involved in the G2 arrest. Demel cells expressed the PKC alpha, betaI, betaII, delta, epsilon, iota/lambda, zeta, and mu isozymes. PKC eta and PKC theta were not detected. Addition of TPA did not completely down regulate any PKC isozymes over a 12-h period in these synchronized cells. PKC alpha, betaI, betaII, delta, and epsilon isozymes were translocated to the membrane fraction from the cytosolic fraction when treated with TPA. PKC delta appeared as a doublet and the addition of TPA shifted a majority to the slower migrating form. The level of PKC mu was constant; however, a slow mobility form was observed in TPA-treated cells. This reduced mobility was at least partially due to phosphorylation. Thus, the arrest of growth in G2 appears to be due to the inhibition of the p34(cdc2) kinase activity which is associated with the increased expression of p21(Cip1/Waf1) and increased phosphorylation on tyrosine of p34(cdc2). This arrest, in turn, is associated with a shift of PKC isozymes PKC alpha, PKC betaI, PKC betaII, PKC delta, PKC epsilon, and PKC mu to the membrane fraction which is induced by addition of TPA.

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