The farnesyltransferase inhibitor FTI-277 radiosensitizes H-ras-transformed rat embryo fibroblasts.
Bernhard EJ., Kao G., Cox AD., Sebti SM., Hamilton AD., Muschel RJ., McKenna WG.
Many tumor cells have a greater resistance to ionizing radiation than their normal counterparts, suggesting that the development of drugs that can reduce that radioresistance would potentiate the efficacy of radiation therapy. Because activated H-ras expression has been shown to markedly increase radiation resistance in some transformed cells, the inactivation of H-ras would then be predicted to radiosensitize these tumor cells, while leaving normal cells unaffected. H-ras depends for activity upon farnesylation, which can be blocked by farnesylation inhibitors, including the compound FTI-277. In keeping with this prediction, inhibition of H-ras processing using FTI-277 resulted in higher levels of apoptosis after irradiation and increased radiosensitivity in H-ras-transformed rat embryo cells but did not affect control cells. These experiments suggest that farnesylation inhibitors may prove clinically useful as radiosensitizers of tumors that depend on ras function.