Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol inhibits cell cycle progression by downregulation of E2F1 in human glioblastoma multiforme cells

Gil Galanti, Tamar Fisher, Iris Kventsel, Jacob Shoham, Ruth Gallily, Raphael Mechoulam, Gad Lavie, Ninette Amariglio, Gideon Rechavi, Amos Toren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. The active components of Cannabis sativa L., Cannabinoids, traditionally used in the field of cancer for alleviation of pain, nausea, wasting and improvement of well-being have received renewed interest in recent years due to their diverse pharmacologic activities such as cell growth inhibition, anti-inflammatory activity and induction of tumor regression. Here we used several experimental approaches, which identified delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) as an essential mediator of cannabinoid antitumoral action. Methods and results. Administration of Δ9-THC to glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cell lines results in a significant decrease in cell viability. Cell cycle analysis showed G0/1 arrest and did not reveal occurrence of apoptosis in the absence of any sub-G1 populations. Western blot analyses revealed a THC altered cellular content of proteins that regulate cell progression through the cell cycle. The cell content of E2F1 and Cyclin A, two proteins that promote cell cycle progression, were suppressed in both U251-MG and U87-MG human glioblastoma cell lines, whereas the level of p16INK4A, a cell cycle inhibitor was upregulated. Transcription of thymidylate synthase (TS) mRNA, which is promoted by E2F1, also declined as evident by QRT-PCR. The decrease in E2F1 levels resulted from proteasome mediated degradation and was prevented by proteasome inhibitors. Conclusions. Δ9-THC is shown to significantly affect viability of GBM cells via a mechanism that appears to elicit G1 arrest due to downregulation of E2F1 and Cyclin A. Hence, it is suggested that Δ9-THC and other cannabinoids be implemented in future clinical evaluation as a therapeutic modality for brain tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1062-1070
Number of pages9
JournalActa Oncologica
Volume47
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Funding

FundersFunder number
Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Science
Bar-Ilan University

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