Treatment of A431 human epidermoid cells with epidermal growth factor (EGF; 20 nM) results in decreased proliferation. This is associated with blockage of the cells in the S and/or G2 phases of the cell cycle. We found that tyrphostin, a putative tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in the range of 50 to 100 μM, partially reversed the growth-inhibitory and cell cycle changes induced by EGF. By using high-pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection, we found that tyrphostin was readily incorporated into A431 cells, reaching maximal levels within 1 h. Although tyrphostin (50 to 100 μM) had no effect on high-affinity binding of EGF to its receptor in A431 cells for up to 24 h, the compound partially inhibited EGF-stimulated EGF receptor tyrosine kinase activity. However, this effect was evident only after prolonged treatment of the cells (4 to 24 h) with the drug. When the peak intracellular concentration of tyrphostin occurred (1 h), no inhibition of tyrosine kinase activity was observed. After both 1 and 24 h, tyrphostin was a less effective inhibitor of tyrosine kinase activity than the potent tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate, which almost completely blocked EGF receptor autophosphorylation. On the basis of our data, we hypothesize that tyrphostin is not a competitive inhibitor of the EGF receptor tyrosine kinase in intact cells and that it functions by an indirect mechanism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology