The synthetic inhibitor of fibroblast growth factor receptor PD166866 controls negatively the growth of tumor cells in culture

Gianfranco Risuleo, Marina Ciacciarelli, Mauro Castelli, Gaspare Galati

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Background. Many experimental data evidence that over-expression of various growth factors cause disorders in cell proliferation. The role of the Fibroblast Growth Factors (FGF) in growth control is indisputable: in particular, FGF1 and its tyrosine kinase receptor (FGFR1) act through a very complex network of mechanisms and pathways. In this work we have evaluated the antiproliferative activity effect of PD166866, a synthetic molecule inhibiting the tyrosin kinase action of FGFR1. Methods. Cells were routinely grown in Dulbecco Modified Eagle's medium supplemented with newborn serum and a penicillin-streptomycin mixture. Cell viability was evaluated by Mosmann assay and by trypan blue staining. DNA damage was assessed by in situ fluorescent staining with Terminal Deoxynucleotidyl Transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL assay). Assessment of oxidative stress at membrane level was measured by quantitative analysis of the intra-cellular formation of malonyl-dialdheyde (MDA) deriving from the decomposition of poly-unsaturated fatty acids. The expression of Poly-ADP-Ribose-Polymerase (PARP), consequent to DNA fragmentation, was evidenced by immuno-histochemistry utilizing an antibody directed against an N-terminal fragment of the enzyme. Results. The bioactivity of the drug was investigated on Hela cells. Cytoxicity was assessed by the Mosmann assay and by vital staining with trypan blue. The target of the molecule is most likely the cell membrane as shown by the significant increase of the intracellular concentration of malonyl-dihaldheyde. The increase of this compound, as a consequence of the treatment with PD166866, is suggestive of membrane lipoperoxidation. The TUNEL assay gave a qualitative, though clear, indication of DNA damage. Furthermore we demonstrate intracellular accumulation of poly-ADP-ribose polymerase I. This enzyme is a sensor of nicks on the DNA strands and this supports the idea that treatment with the drug induces cell death. Conclusions. Data presented in this work show that PD166866 has clear antiproliferative effects. The negative control of cell proliferation may be exerted through the activation of the apoptotic pathway. The results of experiments addressing this specific point, such as: evaluation of DNA damage, lipoperoxidation of the cell membrane and increase of expression of PARP, an enzyme directly involved in DNA repair. Results suggest that cells exposed to PD16866 undergo apoptosis. However, concomitant modes of cell death cannot be ruled out. The possible use of this drug for therapeutic purposes is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)


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