Partial parallelism and partial blockade by bryostatin 1 of effects of phorbol ester tumor promoters on primary mouse epidermal cells

T. Sako, S. H. Yuspa, C. L. Herald, G. R. Pettit, P. M. Blumberg

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82 Scopus citations


Bryostatin 1, a macrocyclic lactone, functions like the phorbol esters biochemically in binding to and activating protein kinase C. Biologically, however, although it induces some phorbol ester responses such as mitogenesis in Swiss 3T3 cells, it paradoxically blocks the effects of the phorbol esters on differentiation in HL-60 promyelocytic leukemia cells and Friend erythroleukemia cells. Since the phorbol esters induce proliferation and terminal differentiation in distinct subpopulations of epidermal basal cells, we have now examined the action of bryostatin 1 in that system. Bryostatin 1 decreased epidermal growth factor binding and induced ornithine decarboxylase activity, the latter a marker of proliferation. The magnitude of the maximal induction of ornithine decarboxylase was less than for phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate. Bryostatin 1 only transiently caused the morphological change typical of phorbol ester treatment and did not induce transglutaminase or cornified envelope production, markers of the differentiative pathway. Combined treatment with bryostatin 1 and phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate gave similar results to treatment with bryostatin 1 alone, i.e., slight reduction to complete inhibition of phorbol ester action, depending on the response. The mechanism may reflect time dependent block of the protein kinase C pathway by bryostatin 1 in this system; although bryostatin 1 inhibited epidermal growth factor binding at short incubation times (1-2 h), by 4 h of incubation its inhibition was markedly reduced and it correspondingly blocked inhibition of epidermal growth factor binding by phorbol 12,13-butyrate. Since induction of terminal differentiation is proposed to be an essential component of phorbol ester mediated tumor promotion in skin, our findings suggest that bryostatin 1 may function as an inhibitor of phorbol ester promotion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5445-5450
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number20
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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