ABSTRACT Phenylacetylglutaminate (PG) and Phenylacetate (PN) are metabolites of Phenylbutyrate (PB) and are constituents of antineoplaston AS2-1. These are sodium salts of amino acid derivative and carboxylic acid that inhibit the growth of neoplastic cells without growth inhibitory effect in normal cells. The aim of this study was to identify molecular pathways involved in the anti-proliferative effect of antineoplastons. Using a total human genome microarray we have found that 1) Vitamin D3 upregulated protein (VDUP1) is significantly upregulated in response to PG and PN in the U87 glioblastoma cells; 2) Isobologram analysis shows that PG and PN act in an additive or synergistic manner to effectively suppress proliferation of U87 cells; 3) PG and PN cause cell cycle arrest, changes in expression of several cell cycle genes and suppress expression and activity of the G2/M checkpoint kinase, CHK1. The multiple cellular targets possibly make these compounds effective anti-proliferative agents. We propose that PG and PN in combination target important cellular pathways and upregulate VDUP1 leading to detachment-induced apoptosis in cancer cells.
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