Cell Cycle. 2008 Oct;7(20):3258-61. Epub 2008 Oct 25. [Link]

Zhao H, Ardelt B, Ardelt W, Shogen K, Darzynkiewicz Z.

Department of Pathology, Brander Cancer Research Institute, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York 10595, USA.


Onconase (Onc), a ribonuclease from oocytes of Northern Leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) is cytostatic and cytotoxic to a variety of tumor lines in vitro, inhibits growth of tumors in animal in vivo models and enhances sensitivity of tumor cells to a number of other cytotoxic agents with diverse mechanism of action. In Phase III clinical trials Onc demonstrated significant efficacy in patients with malignant mesothelioma that failed prior chemotherapy. We previously postulated that the antitumor activity of Onc and the observed synergisms with other antitumor modalities at least in part may be mediated by targeting RNA interference (RNAi). In the present study we observed that the silencing of the glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) gene in human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells by siRNA was effectively prevented by Onc. While transfection of cells with GAPDH siRNA reduced expression of this protein by nearly 70%, the expression was restored in the cells exposed to 0.8 muM Onc for 48 or 72 h. The data thus provide evidence that one of the targets of Onc is siRNA, likely within the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). In light of the findings that microRNAs are involved in tumor pathogenesis as well as in enhancing cell resistance to anticancer therapy the present data may provide explanation for both, the antitumor Onc activity and its propensity to enhance effectiveness of cytotoxic drugs.

Keywords: microRNAs, ranpirnase, gene regulation, RISC, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, laser scanning cytometry, mesothelioma