JOURNAL ARTICLE

5-Aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-beta-D-ribofuranoside inhibits cancer cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo via AMP-activated protein kinase

Ramandeep Rattan, Shailendra Giri, Avtar K Singh, Inderjit Singh
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2005 November 25, 280 (47): 39582-93
16176927
5-Aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-beta-4-ribofuranoside (AICAR) is widely used as an AMP-kinase activator, which regulates energy homeostasis and response to metabolic stress. Here, we investigated the effect of AICAR, an AMPK activator, on proliferation of various cancer cells and observed that proliferation of all the examined cell lines was significantly inhibited by AICAR treatment due to arrest in S-phase accompanied with increased expression of p21, p27, and p53 proteins and inhibition of PI3K-Akt pathway. Inhibition in in vitro growth of cancer cells was mirrored in vivo with increased expression of p21, p27, and p53 and attenuation of Akt phosphorylation. Anti-proliferative effect of AICAR is mediated through activated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) as iodotubericidin and dominant-negative AMPK expression vector reversed the AICAR-mediated growth arrest. Moreover, constitutive active AMPK arrested the cells in S-phase by inducing the expression of p21, p27, and p53 proteins and inhibiting Akt phosphorylation, suggesting the involvement of AMPK. AICAR inhibited proliferation in both LKB and LKB knock-out mouse embryo fibroblasts to similar extent and arrested cells at S-phase when transfected with dominant negative expression vector of LKB. Altogether, these results indicate that AICAR can be utilized as a therapeutic drug to inhibit cancer, and AMPK can be a potential target for treatment of various cancers independent of the functional tumor suppressor gene, LKB.

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