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Human tumor cells are selectively inhibited by colicins

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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.

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Correspondence to J. Chumchalová.

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This work was supported by grant no. 310/98/0083 of theGrant Agency of the Czech Republic.

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Chumchalová, J., Šmarda, J. Human tumor cells are selectively inhibited by colicins. Folia Microbiol 48, 111–115 (2003).

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