Diazepam Inhibits Forskolin-Stimulated Adenylyl Cyclase Activity in Human Tumour Cells Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Previous studies have shown that the benzodiazepine agonist, diazepam, suppresses adenylyl cyclase activity in rat brain, via a G protein-coupled benzodiazepine receptor. Since diazepam binding sites are also present in diverse non-neuronal tissues including tumour cells, its effects on adenylyl cyclase activity were examined in membranes from human MCF-7 (breast cancer) and M-6 (melanoma) cells. Diazepam caused a biphasic and concentration-dependent inhibition of forskolin-stimulated adenylyl cyclase activity in MCF-7 membranes. The first phase of inhibition, at picomolar to nanomolar drug concentrations (EC50=5.7 x 10(-12)M), is similar to the receptor mediated phase observed in the rat brain. At micromolar concentrations of diazepam (EC50= 1.8 x 10(-4)M), the steep decrease in adenylyl cyclase activity may involve a direct action on the enzyme itself, as detected previously in rat brain membranes. Diazepam-induced suppression of adenylyl cyclase activity was also detected in M-6 membranes. However, in contrast to MCF-7 findings, only micromolar concentrations of diazepam (EC50=5.2 x 10(-4)M) inhibited enzyme activity in M-6 membranes. These findings suggest that G protein-coupled benzodiazepine receptors, which mediate inhibition of the adenylyl cyclase-cAMP pathway in the brain, are also expressed in MCF-7 cells.

publication date

  • December 1999