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Cell Death Differ. 2006 Apr;13(4):642-51.

Farnesylthiosalicylic acid induces caspase activation and apoptosis in glioblastoma cells.

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Department of Pathology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


Primary glioblastomas (GBMs) commonly overexpress the oncogene epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which leads to increased Ras activity. FTA, a novel Ras inhibitor, produced both time- and dose-dependent caspase-mediated apoptosis in GBM cell lines. EGFR-mediated increase in 3H-thymidine uptake was inhibited by FTA. FACS analysis was performed to determine the percent of apoptotic cells. The sub-Go population of GBM cells was increased from 4.5 to 13.8% (control) to over 45-53.6% in FTA-treated cells within 24 h. Furthermore, FTA also increased the activities of both caspase-3 and -9, and PARP cleavage. Treatment of GBMs with FTA before or after EGF addition to the cultures blocked phosphorylation of Akt and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK). FTA also significantly reduced the amount of EGF-induced Ras-GTP as reflected by a decrease in the level of Ras bound to Raf-RBD-GST. This study demonstrates that inhibition of Ras methylation may provide a therapeutic target for the treatment of GBMs overexpressing EGFR.

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