Antiproliferative effect of DNA polymerase alpha antisense oligodeoxynucleotides on breast cancer cells.

Abstract:

Antisense oligonucleotides appear to offer considerable promise as sequence-specific inhibitors of gene expression. Different cellular targets for oligodeoxynucleotides with oncologic interest have been identified such as oncogenes, growth factors, and cell cycle-related genes. DNA polymerase alpha (pol alpha) plays a relevant role in DNA synthesis and cell proliferation. Pol alpha gene expression is constitutive throughout the cell cycle and its mRNA content and activity are related to the growth rate and neoplastic phenotype. The effects of a 18-mer pol alpha antisense oligomer on the proliferation of the MDA-MB 231 breast cancer cell line have been investigated. After 48 h in culture with oligomers (10 microM), about 50% growth inhibition was observed in antisense-treated cells, as evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethythiazol-2yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay and cell count. [3H]Thymidine incorporation exhibited a 90% inhibition of DNA synthesis associated to 64% accumulation of cells at the G1-S border of the cycle as by flow cytometry, at 24 h. Northern hybridization and SDS-PAGE of immunoprecipitated MDA-MB 231 cell lysates revealed a decreased expression of pol alpha mRNA and a reduction of the 180-kDa polypeptide, respectively. Collectively, the data further confirm the relevance of pol alpha in the replicative cycle, as well as strengthen the potentiality of the antisense strategy for the control of gene expression and cell growth.

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