Growth inhibition of ras-dependent tumors in nude mice by a potent ras- dislodging antagonist

Yaakov Egozi, Boaz Weisz, Mali Gana-Weisz, Gilad Ben-Baruch, Yoel Klogg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A lipophilic farnesyl moiety attached to the carboxyl terminal cysteine of ras proteins structurally supports their membrane anchorage, required for ras-dependent growth-factor signaling and for transforming activity of ras oncoproteins. It has been shown that inhibition of ras farnesylation can block tumor growth in nude mice but that some ras-dependent tumors escape such blockage as a result of prenylation of ras. S-trans- transfarnesylthiosalicylic acid (FTS) is a potent ras-dislodging antagonist that does not affect ras prenylation but rather acts on the mature, membrane- bound ras and facilitates its degradation. Here we demonstrate that FTS induces reappearance of stress fibers in H-ras-transformed rat-1 cells (EJ cells) in vitro, inhibits their anchorage-independent growth in vitro, and blocks EJ-tumor growth in nude mice. The anchorage-independent growth of cells expressing ErbB2 (B104), but not that of v-raf-transformed cells, is also inhibited by FTS, suggesting specificity towards activated ras. FTS treatment (5 mg/kg i.p. daily) caused inhibition (75-80%) of tumor growth in nude mice implanted with EJ, but not in mice implanted with v-raf- transformed cells, with no evidence of systemic toxicity. Moreover, FTS treatment increased the survival rate of EJ-tumor-bearing mice from 48 to 68 days. Here we demonstrate anti-tumor potency in a synthetic, non-toxic, ras- dislodging antagonist acting independently of farnesyltransferases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-918
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number6
StatePublished - 15 Mar 1999


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