|Home | About | Journals | Submit | Contact Us | Français|
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.