Growth arrest and morphological change of human breast cancer cells by dibutyryl cyclic AMP and L-arginine

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Science  02 Oct 1981:
Vol. 214, Issue 4516, pp. 77-79
DOI: 10.1126/science.6269181


The growth in vitro of human breast cancer cells, line MCF-7, was inhibited by a daily supplement of L-arginine (1 milligram per milliliter). Arginine acted synergistically with dibutyryl adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cyclic AMP) (10(-6) molar) to enhance the growth inhibitory effect: the cell replication ceased completely within 2 days after treatment. The growth arrest accompanied a change in cell morphology and was preceded by increases in the cellular concentration of cyclic AMP, adenylate cyclase, and type II cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase activities as well as a decrease of estrogen binding activity. The results suggest that growth of human breast cancer cells is subject to cyclic AMP-mediated regulation and that arginine may play a specific role in this process.