Inhibition of glycogen phosphorylase (GP) by CP-91,149 induces growth inhibition correlating with brain GP expression

Joachim B. Schnier, Kayoko Nishi, Anne Monks, Fredric A Gorin, E. Morton Bradbury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The role of glycogenolysis in normal and cancer cells was investigated by inhibiting glycogen phosphorylase (GP) with the synthetic inhibitor CP-91,149. A549 non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) cells express solely the brain isozyme of GP, which was inhibited by CP-91,149 with an IC50 of 0.5μM. When treated with CP-91,149, A549 cells accumulated glycogen with associated growth retardation. Treated normal skin fibroblasts also accumulated glycogen with G1-cell cycle arrest that was associated with inhibition of cyclin E-CDK2 activity. Overall, cells expressing high levels of brain GP were growth inhibited by CP-91,149 correlating with glycogen accumulation whereas cells expressing low levels of brain GP were not affected by the drug. Analyses of 59 tumor cell lines represented in the NCI drug screen identified that every cell line expressed brain GP but the profile was dominated by a few highly GP expressing cell lines with lower than mean GP-a enzymatic activities. The correlation program, COMPARE, identified that the brain GP protein measured in the NCI cell lines corresponded with brain GP mRNA expression, ADP-ribosyltransferase 3, and colony stimulating factor 2 receptor α in the 10,000 gene microarray database with similar correlation coefficients. These results suggest that brain GP is present in proliferating cells and that high protein levels correspond with the ability of CP-91,149 to inhibit cell growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-134
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 12 2003


  • Brain glycogen phosphorylase
  • Cancer
  • Cell cycle
  • Colony stimulating factor α
  • CP-91,149
  • Glioma
  • Tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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