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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Apoptosis of medulloblastoma cells in vitro follows inhibition of farnesylation using manumycin A.

Medulloblastoma is a malignant cerebellar tumor usually manifesting in childhood. We have previously shown that blocking the mevalonate pathway with lovastatin, a competitive inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, inhibits medulloblastoma proliferation and induces apoptosis in vitro. The underlying mechanism may involve blocking post-translational modification of important mitogenic signal-transduction proteins. We show that p21 ras processing is blocked by lovastatin, suggesting that inhibition of isoprenylation may be important in lovastatin-induced apoptosis. To test this hypothesis, manumycin A, an antibiotic which inhibits farnesyl protein transferase and thus farnesylation, was administered to 4 medulloblastoma cell lines in vitro. We found that blocking protein farnesylation with manumycin A was followed by apoptosis in a time- and dose-dependent manner. However, cell death induced by manumycin A was uniformly more rapid and efficient, requiring only 12 to 24 hr of treatment, than lovastatin-induced apoptosis, which required 36 to 96 hr (depending on the cell line tested). In addition, unlike lovastatin, which caused cell-cycle arrest in G1 phase and HMG-CoA reductase gene up-regulation, manumycin A had no effect on the cell cycle and resulted in down-regulation of HMG-CoA reductase gene expression. In both lovastatin- and manumycin A-treated cells, cellular cysteine protease precursor (CPP32) was activated, confirming the occurrence of apoptosis.[1]


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