Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of neuroncolAboutAuthor GuidelinesEditorial BoardNeuro-Oncology
Neuro Oncol. 2000 July; 2(3): 151–158.
PMCID: PMC1920495

Inhibition of cell growth in human glioblastoma cell lines by farnesyltransferase inhibitor SCH66336.


Ras activation occurs through stimulation of an upstream growth factor receptor such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). The ultimate effect of Ras is to induce nuclear transcription via a signaling pathway sequentially involving Raf, MAP kinase kinase (MEK), and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). To transform cells, Ras oncoproteins must be posttranslationally modified with a farnesyl group in a reaction catalyzed by farnesyl protein transferase. Farnesyltransferase inhibitors, therefore, have been proposed as potent anticancer agents. This study demonstrates the growth-inhibitory effects of farnesyltransferase inhibitor SCH66336 on human glioblastoma cell lines U-251 MG, U-251/E4 MG (a stably transfected cell line with elevated EGFR expression), and U-87 MG. As determined by (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt) (MTS) and viability assays, the concentration required to achieve 50% inhibition (IC50) ranged from 30 microM (single 24-h treatment) to 10 microM (5-day treatment). U-251/E4 MG with overexpression of EGFR were more sensitive than U-251 MG parental cells. These observations were also supported by soft agar analysis. Cells treated with SCH66336 underwent G2 arrest. Western blot analysis revealed a decrease in phospho-MAPK levels upon treatment with 10 microM SCH66336, whereas MAPK levels were unaffected by the drug. Interestingly, increased expression of EGFR was observed in U-251 MG and U-251/E4 MG but not in U-87 MG in the presence of the inhibitor. These results demonstrate that SCH66336 inhibits viability and anchorage-independent growth in a time- and dose-dependent manner in glioblastoma cell lines U-251 MG, U-251/E4 MG, and U-87 MG via a signal transduction pathway involving the down-regulation of phospho-MAPK. Overexpression of EGFR appears to alter cellular sensitivity to farnesyltransferase inhibitors. This may have a particularly important implication in glioblastoma, where over 50% of tumors have amplification and overexpression of EGFR.

Articles from Neuro-Oncology are provided here courtesy of Society for Neuro-Oncology and Oxford University Press