Aromatase Inhibitor Exemestane has Antiproliferative Effects on Human Mesothelioma Cells Journal Articles uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to investigate the expression and biological activity of aromatase (CYP19A1) in malignant mesothelioma (MM). EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We found CYP19A1 in five human MM cell lines using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and Western immunoblots and in a group of samples from patients with MM by immunohistochemistry. Aromatization activity was determined in MM cells by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay as a measure of estradiol (E2) product, in basal condition and after addition of cytokine, prostaglandin-E2, and epidermal growth factor to MM cells. Treatment of MM cells with exemestane, a CYP19A1 inhibitor, was assessed by cell proliferation kit, cell cycle analysis, and Western blot for caspase, poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase, Bcl-xL, and v-akt murin thymoma viral oncogene homolog (Akt). RESULTS: Biological activity of CYP19A1, already present in basal condition, was increased in MPP89 and Ist-Mes1 cells after treatment with cytokine, in all MM cells on prostaglandin-E2 treatment, and in MPP89, Ist-Mes2, and Ist-Mes1 after addition of epidermal growth factor. Treatment of MM cells with exemestane led to significant reduction of tumor cell growth, perturbation of cell cycle, caspase activation, poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase cleavage, and down-regulation of phosphorylation of Akt and Bcl-xL. In tumor tissues, we found a cytoplasmic localization of CYP19A1. By univariate analysis, overall survival resulted to be strongly influenced by high CYP19A1 expression (p = 0.001). CONCLUSION: These findings show that CYP19A1 is present in MM and that cell growth can be down-regulated by exemestane. As Akt pathway and Bcl-xL are implicated in conferring resistance to conventional chemotherapy, exemestane could open new treatment strategies to be associated with standard therapy for patients afflicted with MM.


  • Stoppoloni, Daniela
  • Salvatori, Luisa
  • Biroccio, Annamaria
  • D'Angelo, Carmen
  • Muti, Paola
  • Verdina, Alessandra
  • Sacchi, Ada
  • Vincenzi, Bruno
  • Baldi, Alfonso
  • Galati, Rossella

publication date

  • March 2011

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