The effects of competitive inhibition of hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase by compactin on the in vitro proliferation of peripheral blood myeloid leukemia cells were studied using the cells from 45 patients with acute myeloid leukemia or chronic myelogenous leukemia in blast phase. The cells from 58% of these patients showed a dose-related inhibition of DNA synthesis when incubated with compactin. Unexpectedly, cells from 18% of the patients were resistant to the inhibitory effects of compactin on DNA synthesis and responded to the HMG CoA reductase inhibition with an actual increase in the incorporation of 14C-labeled thymidine into DNA. Another 18% of the patients studied displayed both inhibition and stimulation of DNA synthesis in a biphasic response depending on the particular concentration of compactin used. The maximum enhanced rates of cellular DNA synthesis were observed with lower compactin concentrations (5 x 10-7 mol/L) than were required for maximum inhibition of DNA synthesis (10-5 mol/L). Leukemia cells displaying a stimulated response to compactin had a significantly lower baseline DNA synthetic rate than did cells that showed an inhibitory response of DNA synthesis to compactin. There was no correlation between these cells' varying DNA synthetic response to compactin and measures of baseline HMG CoA reductase activity or acetate conversion to cholesterol. Whereas the observation of cellular DNA synthesis stimulation by HMG CoA reductase inhibition has not been observed in other mammalian cells and seems paradoxical, explanations may emerge in light of our growing knowledge concerning the importance of isoprenylation for the function of certain cell regulatory proteins.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology