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Open Access Research

Anti-proliferative effect of LXR agonist T0901317 in ovarian carcinoma cells

James J Rough1, M Alexandra Monroy12*, Smitha Yerrum1 and John M Daly1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

2 Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

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Journal of Ovarian Research 2010, 3:13  doi:10.1186/1757-2215-3-13

Published: 26 May 2010



Ovarian cancer is the most common cause of cancer related death from gynecologic tumors in the United States. The insidious nature of the disease precludes early diagnosis, therefore surgical debulking and chemotherapy are considered as standard treatment modalities for advanced stages. We investigated the effect of the LXR agonist, T0901317, on ovarian cancer cell proliferation and apoptosis as a potential therapeutic agent.


T0901317 treatment resulted in a significant (P <0.001) inhibition of cell proliferation in a time- and dose-dependent manner in CaOV3, SKOV3 and A2780 cells. Western blot analysis demonstrated an induction of p21 and p27 with a concominant reduction in phospho-RB protein levels. Cell cycle analysis demonstrated a significant (P <0.001) arrest in the G1 cell cycle phase. Significant induction of Caspase-3 and BAX gene expression occurred with treatment. Induction of apoptosis was confirmed by significant (P < 0.001) elevation of caspase activity on FACS analysis, caspase-glo assay, BAX protein induction and decreased caspase 3 precursor protein expression on Western blot analysis. LXR α/β knockdown experiments did not reverse the anti-proliferative and cytotoxic effects of T0901317.


The LXR agonist, T0901317, significantly suppresses cell proliferation and induces programmed cell death in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Our results indicate that T0901317 induces its anti-proliferative and cytotoxic effects via an LXR-independent mechanism.