Lactoferrin down-regulates G1 cyclin-dependent kinases during growth arrest of head and neck cancer cells.
Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Dec 15 ;10(24):8683-6. PMID: 15623653
The molecular mechanism of lactoferrin-induced cell growth inhibition is incompletely understood. Studying head and neck cancer cells treated with human lactoferrin, we observed growth arrest in three of four cell lines tested. This growth arrest was caused by cell cycle inhibition at the G0-G1 checkpoint. Lactoferrin-induced growth inhibition was associated with a large increase in p27 protein, accompanied by decreased phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein, and suppression of cyclin E. Decreased levels of phosphorylated Akt were also observed in lactoferrin-sensitive cell lines after treatment. These findings suggest that in head and neck cancer cells the growth inhibitory effects of lactoferrin are mediated through a p27/cyclin E-dependent pathway that may be modulated in part by changes in Akt phosphorylation.