Lipoxygenase inhibition induced apoptosis, morphological changes, and carbonic anhydrase expression in human pancreatic cancer cells

Xian Zhong Ding, Charles A. Kuszynski, Tarek H. El-Metwally, Thomas E. Adrian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Citations (Scopus)


Epidemiologic and animal studies have linked pancreatic cancer growth with fat intake, especially unsaturated fats. Arachidonic acid release from membrane phospholipids is essential for tumor cell proliferation. Lipoxygenases (LOX) constitute one pathway for arachidonate metabolism. We previously reported that 5-LOX and 12-LOX are upregulated in human pancreatic cancer cells and that blockade of these enzymes abolishes pancreatic cancer cell growth. The present study was aimed at evaluating the effect of LOX inhibition on differentiation and apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells in parallel with growth inhibition. Four human pancreatic cancer cell lines, PANC-1, MiaPaca2, Capan2, and HPAF, were used. Apoptosis was evaluated by three separate methods, including DNA propidium iodide staining, DNA fragmentation, and the TUNEL assay. Morphological changes and carbonic anhydrase activity were used to determine the effect of LOX inhibitors on differentiation. The general LOX inhibitor NDGA, the 5-LOX inhibitor Rev5901, and the 12-LOX inhibitor baicalein all induced apoptosis in all four pancreatic cancer cell lines, as confirmed by all three methods, suggesting that both the 5-LOX and 12-LOX pathways are important for survival of these cells. Furthermore, NDGA, Rev5901, or baicalein resulted in marked cellular morphological changes in parallel with increased intracellular carbonic anhydrase activity, indicating that LOX blockade induced a more differentiated phenotype in human pancreatic cancer cells. Together with our previous findings, this study suggests that perturbations of LOX activity affect pancreatic cancer cell proliferation and survival. Blockade of LOX enzymes may be valuable for the treatment of human pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-399
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 20 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Lipoxygenase
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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