Journal Article

Induction of cytostasis in mammary carcinoma cells treated with the anticancer agent perillyl alcohol

Wenge Shi and Michael N. Gould

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 23, issue 1, pages 131-142
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Induction of cytostasis in mammary carcinoma cells treated with the anticancer agent perillyl alcohol

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  • Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics


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The monoterpene perillyl alcohol (POH) has preventive and therapeutic effects in a wide variety of pre-clinical tumor models, including those for breast cancers, and is currently being tested in human phase I clinical trials. POH causes both cytostasis and apoptosis in rat mammary carcinomas. In vitro, POH inhibits cellular proliferation in a variety of mammalian cell lines. Here we investigated the mechanisms underlying cytostasis by studying the effects of POH on the cell cycle in vitro using the murine mammary transformed cell line TM6. In TM6 cells, POH causes an early G1 cell-cycle block and slows the G2–M transition. An increase in pRB in its hypophosphorylated state is associated with the early G1 block caused by POH. POH treatment inhibits two important targets in the cells during the G1–S transition: cyclin D1- and cyclin E-associated kinase. POH treatment leads to a reduction in cyclin D1 RNA and protein levels and prevents the formation of active cyclin D1-associated kinase complexes in synchronous cells during the exit of G0 and entry into the cell cycle. In addition, POH treatment induces an increased association of p21WAF1 with cyclin E–Cdk2 complexes, and inhibits the activating phosphorylation of Cdk2. All these effects of POH may contribute to the inhibition of the transition out of the G1 phase of the cell cycle.

Keywords: POH; monoterpene perillyl alcohol; TGFβ; transforming growth factor β; Thr-160; threonine-160

Journal Article.  9489 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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