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Exp Cell Res. 1998 Sep 15;243(2):367-74.

Antiproliferative effect of the tripeptide pyroGlu-Phe-GlyNH2 on murine melanocytes: transitory delay of cell growth in vitro and the cell cycle specificity.

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Institute of Pathology, University of Oslo School of Medicine, Oslo, N-0027, Norway.


Cell growth and differentiation in melanocyte cell populations are regulated by a wide range of bioactive substances. Recently, the tripeptide pyroGlu-Phe-GlyNH2 which inhibits melanocyte growth in vitro was identified in both murine nontransformed melanocytes and malignant melanoma cells. The present study was undertaken to investigate the cell cycle specificity as well as the growth inhibitory profile of the tripeptide after a single or repeated administration to melanocyte cultures. Dose-related effects of the peptide were studied using three different bioassay systems: estimation of cell number, DNA synthesis, and cell flux into mitosis. Growth of melanocyte cultures as well as melanocyte mitotic activity were found to be reduced significantly by the tripeptide at two separate dose levels (10(-11) and 10(-14)-10(-15) M). Growth inhibition of melanocyte population did not last long: less than 36 h after the first and less than 24 h after the second peptide addition to the cultures. The level of DNA synthesis in melanocytes remained unchanged after a single peptide administration. The findings indicate that the tripeptide pyroGlu-Phe-GlyNH2 causes transitory delay of cell growth in cultured melanocyte population resulting from a reversible inhibition of melanocyte transition from the G2-phase of the cell cycle into mitosis.

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