Depletion of 9L rat brain tumor cell polyamine content by treatment with d,l-α-difluoromethylornithine inhibits proliferation and the G1 to S transition

Jerome Seidenfeld, Joe W. Gray, Laurence J. Marton

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d,l-α-Difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), an irreversible inactivator of ornithine decarboxylase, inhibited 9L monolayer culture rat brain tumor cell proliferation at concentrations as low as 1 mM DFMO to about 25% of control growth when cells were seeded at an initial density of 5 × 105/flask. DFMO reduced intracellular putrescine content to <5% of control by 8 h and spermidine content to <5 % of control by 48 h post-treatment. Cytostasis caused by 10 or 25 mM DFMO could both be reversed and blocked by addition of exogenous putrescine. Cells pretreated for 48 h with DFMO and then replated in its absence could not enter exponential growth until polyamine production resumed. Addition of exogenous putrescine at the time of replating allowed pretreated cells to resume exponential growth at the same time as controls. Flow cytometry revealed that the fraction of cells in G1 increased until polyamine accumulation resumed, implying the presence of a G1-S block. Within 6 h of replating, there was a decrease in the fraction of control cells in G1. These observations support the hypothesis that entry of 9L cells into S phase depends on an adequate intracellular pool of polyamines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-216
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1981


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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