Involvement of cell cycle regulatory proteins and MAP kinase signaling pathway in growth inhibition and cell cycle arrest by a selective cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitor, etodolac, in human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines

Jidong Cheng, Hiroyasu Imanishi, Weidong Liu, Hideji Nakamura, Takayuki Morisaki, Kazuya Higashino, Toshikazu Hada
Cancer Science 2004, 95 (8): 666-73
Recent studies have shown that selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors induce growth inhibition and cell cycle arrest in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines. However, the mechanism by which COX-2 inhibitors regulate the cell cycle and whether or not growth signal pathways are involved in the growth inhibition remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of growth inhibition and cell cycle arrest by etodolac, a selective COX-2 inhibitor, in HCC cell lines, HepG2 and PLC/PRF/5, by studying cell cycle regulatory proteins, and the MAP kinase and PDK1-PKB/AKT signaling pathways. Etodolac inhibited growth and PCNA expression and induced cell cycle arrest in both HCC cell lines. Etodolac induced p21WAF1/Cip1 and p27Kip1 expression and inhibited CDK2, CDK4, CDC2, cyclin A and cyclin B1 expression, but did not affect cyclin D1 or cyclin E. HGF and 10% FBS induced ERK phosphorylation, but phosphorylation of p38, JNK and AKT was down-regulated by etodolac. PD98059, a selective inhibitor of ERK phosphorylation, induced growth inhibition, the expression of p27Kip1 and cell cycle arrest. In conclusion, p21WAF1/Cip1, p27Kip1, CDK2, CDK4, CDC2, cyclin A, cyclin B1 and the MAP kinase signaling pathway are involved in growth inhibition and cell cycle arrest by a selective COX-2 inhibitor in HCC cell lines.

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