Folia Microbiologica

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 111–115

Human tumor cells are selectively inhibited by colicins


DOI: 10.1007/BF02931286

Cite this article as:
Chumchalová, J. & Šmarda, J. Folia Microbiol (2003) 48: 111. doi:10.1007/BF02931286


The activityin vitro of four types of colicins (A, E1, E3, U) against one human standard fibroblast line and against 11 human tumor-cell lines carrying defined mutations of thep53 gene was quantified by MTT (tetrazolium bromide) assay. Flow cytometry showed that the pore-forming colicins A, E1 and U affected the cell cycle of 5 of these cell lines. Colicins E3 and U did not show any distinct inhibitory effects on the cell lines, while colicins E1 and especially A inhibited the growth of all of them (with one exception concerning colicin E1). Colicin E1 inhibited the growth of the tumor lines by 17–40% and standard fibroblasts MRC5 by 11%. Colicin A exhibited a differentiated 16–56% inhibition, the growth of standard fibroblasts being inhibited by 36%. In three of the lines, colicins A and E1 increased the number of cells in the G1 phase (by 12–58%) and in apoptosis (by 7–58%). These results correlated with the data from sensitivity assays. Hence, the inhibitory effect of colicins on eukaryotic cells is cell-selective, colicin-specific and can be considered to be cytotoxic.

Copyright information

© Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of MedicineMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzechia