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

Protein geranylgeranylation is critical for the regulation of survival and proliferation of lymphoma tumor cells.

PURPOSE: Prenylation is essential for membrane localization and participation of proteins in various signaling pathways. The following study was conducted to examine the importance of protein farnesylation and geranylgeranylation for the regulation of lymphoma cell survival and proliferation. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Lymphoma cells were treated with the beta-hydroxy-beta-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitor lovastatin, which inhibits protein farnesylation and geranylgeranylation by the depletion of intracellular pools of farnesylpyrophosphate and geranylgeranylpyrophosphate. In addition, farnesyl transferase and geranylgeranyl transferase activities were specifically inhibited by FTI-277 and GGTI-298, respectively. RESULTS: Only inhibition of geranylgeranylation by lovastatin led to reduction of cell viability in lymphoma cell lines and purified tumor cells from lymphoma patients in a time- and dose-dependent way. Reduction in the number of viable cells was mediated by both induction of apoptosis and inhibition of proliferation. In addition, GGTI-298 was more effective in induction of apoptosis and inhibition of proliferation than FTI-277. Apoptosis induced by inhibition of protein geranylgeranylation was associated with a reduction of Mcl-1 protein levels, collapse of the mitochondrial transmembrane potential, and caspase-3 activation. Inhibition of proliferation resulted from the induction of G(1) arrest. Furthermore, lovastatin at low concentrations sensitized lymphoma cells to dexamethasone, including cells resistant to this drug. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that protein geranylgeranylation is critical for the regulation of lymphoma tumor cell survival and proliferation and that pharmacological agents such as lovastatin or geranylgeranyl transferase inhibitors, alone or in combination with other drugs, may be useful in the treatment of lymphoma.[1]


  1. Protein geranylgeranylation is critical for the regulation of survival and proliferation of lymphoma tumor cells. van de Donk, N.W., Schotte, D., Kamphuis, M.M., van Marion, A.M., van Kessel, B., Bloem, A.C., Lokhorst, H.M. Clin. Cancer Res. (2003) [Pubmed]
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