A marked decrease in the type I cAMP-dependent protein kinase regulatory subunit (RI alpha) and an increase in the type II protein kinase regulatory subunit (RII beta) correlate with growth inhibition and differentiation induced in a variety of types of human cancer cells, in vitro and in vivo, by site-selective cAMP analogs. To directly determine whether RI alpha is a growth-inducing protein essential for neoplastic cell growth, human HL-60 promyelocytic leukemia cells were exposed to 21-mer RI alpha antisense oligodeoxynucleotide, and the effects on cell replication and differentiation were examined. The RI alpha antisense oligomer brought about growth inhibition and monocytic differentiation, bypassing the effects of an exogenous cAMP analog. These effects of RI alpha antisense oligodeoxynucleotide correlated with a decrease in RI alpha receptor and an increase in RII beta receptor level. The growth inhibition and differentiation were abolished, however, when these cells were exposed simultaneously to both RI alpha and RII beta antisense oligodeoxynucleotides. The RII beta antisense oligodeoxynucleotide alone has been previously shown to specifically block the differentiation inducible by cAMP analogs. These results provide direct evidence that RI alpha cAMP receptor plays a critical role in neoplastic cell growth and that cAMP receptor isoforms display specific roles in cAMP regulation of cell growth and differentiation.
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