The growth rate of malignant F9 embryonal carcinoma cells slows considerably following all-trans-retinoic acid-induced differentiation into benign parietal endoderm. To determine the mechanism of this process, we examined the expression of cyclins D1, D2, and D3 and the activity of their associated kinases. Cyclin D1 and D3 mRNA levels decreased during complete differentiation induced by all-trans-retinoic acid and dibutyryl cAMP, while the levels of cyclin D2 and the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor p27 mRNAs increased. Ultimately, terminally differentiated cells possessed 50% of the Cdk4-associated kinase activity observed in undifferentiated cells. Since numerous genes are differentially regulated during parietal endoderm differentiation, it is difficult to determine whether retinoic acid affects cell cycle gene expression directly or if these changes are caused by differentiation. We found that the retinoid X receptor (RXR)-selective agonists LG100153 and LG100268 significantly inhibited F9 cell growth without causing overt terminal differentiation as assessed by anchorage-independent growth and differentiation-associated gene expression. As seen in cells induced to differentiate by the RAR agonist all-trans-retinoic acid, RXR activation led to an increase in the number of cells in G1 phase. RXR agonists also sharply induced the levels of the Cdk regulatory subunits, cyclin D2 and D3. However, Cdk4-dependent kinase activity was reduced by RXR- selective retinoid treatment. These observations suggest that some retinoids can directly inhibit proliferation and regulate Cdk4-dependent kinase activity without inducing terminal differentiation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology
- F9 embryonal carcinoma