Structure-activity relations of S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase inhibitors on the growth of MCF-7 breast cancer cells

Thresia Thomas, Carol A. Faaland, Sreedevi Adhikarakunnathu, T. J. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


SAMDC is a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of spermidine and spermine, 2 polyamines that are essential for cell proliferation. Inhibition of polyamine biosynthesis is often targeted as a therapeutic strategy to suppress cancer cell growth as these cells contain elevated levels of polyamines. We examined the effect of a new group of SAMDC inhibitors, CGP33829, CGP35753, CGP36958, CGP39937, and CGP48664, (obtained from Ciba-Geigy, Basel, Switzerland), and their parent compound, MGBG, on the proliferation of MCF-7 breast cancer cells. MGBG had minimal effects on the proliferation of MCF-7 cells up to 6 μM concentration. In contrast, CGP48664 and CGP39937, containing 2 aromatic rings that delocalize the π electron system of the backbone of MGBG, were potent inhibitors with 50% growth inhibition at 0.5 μM concentration. Other CGP compounds were less effective in inhibiting cell growth. The ability of CGP48664 to inhibit MCF-7 cell proliferation was related to its ability to inhibit SAMDC and to consequently deplete spermidine and spermine levels in the cell. Exogenous spermidine and spermine could reverse the growth inhibitory effects of this compound. CGP compounds also increased the activity of ODC, another enzyme involved in polyamine biosynthesis. Northern blot analysis of mRNA from MCF-7 cells progressing in cell cycle after G1 synchronization did not show an increase in ODC mRNA level by CGP48664. These data demonstrate structure-activity relationships of a series of MGBG derivatives on cell growth, enzyme activities, and polyamine biosynthesis in a hormone-responsive breast cancer cell line and suggest potential application of SAMDC inhibitors as therapeutic agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-306
Number of pages14
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


  • Enzyme inhibitors
  • MCF-7 cells
  • ODC
  • Polyamines

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