Antiproliferative effect of gossypol and its optical isomers on human reproductive cancer cell lines

Vimla Band, Anita P. Hoffer, Hamid Band, Ann E. Rhinehardt, Robert C. Knapp, Stephen A. Matlin, Deborah J. Anderson

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63 Scopus citations


The antiproliferative effect of gossypol and its optical isomers on various human cell lines of reproductive and nonreproductive tissue origin was studied. Various reproductive cancer cell lines of ovarian, gestational, and testicular origin were highly sensitive (IC50 values of 0.86-1.98) to gossypol. The antiproliferative action of gossypol was not restricted to reproductive cancers, as non-reproductive cancer cell lines were also equally sensitive (IC50 values of 0.69-3.55). In addition, actively proliferating untransformed cells such as fibroblasts and PHA-activated lymphocytes were also sensitive (IC50 values of 0.87-2.51). (-)-Gossypol was 3.6-12.4 times more potent than (+)-gossypol and 1.48-2.65 times more potent than (±)-gossypol. The most sensitive indicator of gossypol action was a decrease in DNA synthesis followed by inhibition of protein synthesis and uptake of rhodamine-123 by mitochondria as tested in an ovarian cancer cell line (OVCA 433) and a fibroblast line (Hs27). These results indicate that gossypol possesses a general nonselective antiproliferative action toward human cells in vitro. Further, the pharmacologic activity of gossypol as an antiproliferative agent is primarily attributable to its (-) isomer, which is also the active isomer as a contraceptive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-277
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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