Suppression of the Proliferation of Ras-transformed Cells by Fluoromevalonate, an Inhibitor of Mevalonate Metabolism

J. A. Cuthbert, P. E. Lipsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Mevalonate is the precursor of a number of different products potentially required for the growth of cells, including the prenylated oncoprotein Ras. To determine whether inhibition of mevalonate metabolism would selectively block proliferation of Ras-transformed cells, 6-fluoromevalonate (Fmev), an inhibitor of diphosphomevalonate decarboxylase, was used to block the synthesis of prenyl-derived lipids and prenylated proteins in interleukin-3 (IL-3)-dependent FDC-P1 cells (control FDC-P1 cells) and FDC-P1 cells transformed with oncogenic Ras (RasDC cells) that proliferated in the absence of IL-3. Fmev completely inhibited synthesis of prenyl-derived lipids and prenylated proteins and blocked proliferation of FDC-P1 and RasDC cells. Restoration of the proliferation of Fmev-blocked FDC-P1 cells required both an exogenous source of cholesterol and prevention of the accumulation of mevalonate and the mevalonate phosphates with iovastatin. In contrast, ongoing IL-3-independent proliferation of Fmev-blocked RasDC cells was not completely restored by providing exogenous cholesterol and preventing the accumulation of inhibitory mevalonate product(s). However, these cells proliferated when cultures were supplemented with IL-3 together with exogenous cholesterol and Iovastatin, implying that Fmev had prevented Ras-dependent, IL-3-independent growth. Fmev markedly diminished total cellular Ras in RasDC cells. In contrast, Iovastatin depleted membrane-associated Ras and increased cytosolic Ras but did not diminish total cellular Ras. These data indicate that Fmev depletes total cellular Ras and specifically inhibits the autonomous growth of Ras-transformed cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1732-1740
Number of pages9
JournalCancer research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this