The differential staurosporine mediated G1 arrest in normal versus tumor cells is dependent on the retinoblastoma and Chk1 proteins
The ability to regulate cell cycle progression is one of the differences that separates normal from tumor cells. A protein, which is frequently mutated or deleted in a majority of tumor cells, is the retinoblastoma protein (pRb). Previously, we reported that normal cells, which have a wild-type Rb pathway, can be reversibly arrested in the G1 phase of the cell cycle by staurosporine (ST), while tumor cells were unaffected by this treatment. As a result, ST may be used to protect normal cells against the toxic affects of chemotherapy. Here we set out to determine the mechanism(s) by which ST can mediate a reversible G1 arrest in pRb positive cells. To this end, we used an isogenic cell model system of normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC) with either intact pRb+ (p53-) or p53+ (pRb-) treated with ST. Our results show that pRb+ cells treated with low concentrations of ST, arrested in the G1 phase of the cell cycle; however, in pRb - cells there was no response. This was verified as a true G 1 arrest in pRb+ cells by two different methods for monitoring cell cycle kinetics and in two additional model systems for Rb (i.e. pRb -/- mouse embryo fibroblasts, and downregulation of RB with siRNA). Our results indicated that ST-mediated G1 arrest required pRb, which in turn initiated a cascade of events leading to inhibition of CDK4 and CDK2 activities and up-regulation of p21 protein. Further assessment of this pathway revealed the novel finding that Chk1 expression and activity were required for the Rb-dependent, ST-mediated G1 arrest. In fact, overexpression of Chk1 facilitated recovery from ST-mediated G1 arrest, an effect only observed in RB+ cells. Collectively, our data suggest pRb is able to cooperate with Chk1 to mediate a G1 arrest in pRb+ cells, but not in pRb- cells. The elucidation of this pathway can help identify novel agents that can be used to protect cancer patients against the debilitating affects of chemotherapy, by targeting only the normal proliferating cells in the body that are otherwise destroyed.
Murray, Mollianne McGahren, "The differential staurosporine mediated G1 arrest in normal versus tumor cells is dependent on the retinoblastoma and Chk1 proteins" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3256557.