We have previously observed that inhibition of polyamine biosynthesis with α-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) upregulates production of thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), an extracellular matrix protein with potent anti-angiogenic and antimetastatic properties, by MDA-MB-435 human breast cancer cells in culture. The present experiments were designed to investigate the mechanisms by which DFMO regulates TSP-1 production in this system. 35S-methionine pulse chase experiments indicated that DFMO administration increased TSP-1 synthesis by approximately 6-fold, while it slightly but significantly decreased protein half-life from 35 to 28 min. DFMO treatment increased steady state TSP-1 mRNA levels by 2-fold in MDA-MB-435 cells. TSP-1 promoter reporter studies indicated that this increase was largely due to activation of transcription. Analysis of distribution of TSP-1 mRNA levels between non-polysomal, subpolysomal and polysomal fractions in control and DFMO-treated cells suggested a major stimulatory effect of the drug on TSP-1 translation. A similar increase in TSP-1 transcription and translation in response to DFMO treatment was also observed in vivo in MDA-MB-435 breast cancer xenografts. Surprisingly however, we failed to detect an increase in TSP-1 protein as assessed by Western blot analysis. The reason for this unexpected finding is unknown but may be due to DFMO-induced stimulation of TSP-1 secretion into the systemic circulation, thus preventing its accumulation within the tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1187-1191
Number of pages5
JournalInternational journal of oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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