Cyclic AMP (cAMP) inhibits the proliferation of several tumor cells. We previously reported an antiproliferative effect of PKA I-selective cAMP analogs (8-PIP-cAMP and 8-HA-cAMP) on two human cancer cell lines of different origin. 8-Cl-cAMP, another cAMP analog with known antiproliferative properties, has been investigated as a potential anticancer drug. Here, we compared the antiproliferative effect of 8-Cl-cAMP and the PKA I-selective cAMP analogs in three human cancer cell lines (ARO, NPA and WRO). 8-Cl-cAMP and the PKA I-selective cAMP analogs had similarly potent antiproliferative effects on the BRAF-positive ARO and NPA cells, but not on the BRAF-negative WRO cells, in which only 8-Cl-cAMP consistently inhibited cell growth. While treatment with the PKA I-selective cAMP analogs was associated with growth arrest, 8-Cl-cAMP induced apoptosis. To further investigate the actions of 8-Cl-cAMP and the PKA I-selective cAMP analogs, we analyzed their effects on signaling pathways involved in cell proliferation and apoptosis. Interestingly, the PKA I-selective cAMP analogs, but not 8-Cl-cAMP, inhibited ERK phosphorylation, whereas 8-Cl-cAMP alone induced a progressive phosphorylation of the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), via activation of AMPK by its metabolite 8-Cl-adenosine. Importantly, the pro-apoptotic effect of 8-Cl-cAMP could be largely prevented by pharmacological inhibition of the p38 MAPK. Altogether, these data suggest that 8-Cl-cAMP and the PKA I-selective cAMP analogs, though of comparable antiproliferative potency, act through different mechanisms. PKA I-selective cAMP analogs induce growth arrest in cells carrying the BRAF oncogene, whereas 8-Cl-cAMP induce apoptosis, apparently through activation of the p38 MAPK pathway.
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Date Published: 10-June-2011
Author(s): Lucchi S., Calebiro D., de Filippis T., Grassi E., Borghi M., Persani L.