Recombinant bacillus caldovelox arginase mutant (Bca-m) induces apoptosis, autophagy, cell cycle arrest and growth inhibition in human cervical cancer cells

Sai Fung Chung, Chi Fai Kim, Ho Yin Chow, Hiu Chi Chong, Suet Ying Tam, Yun Chung Leung, Wai Hung Lo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


With our recent success in developing a recombinant human arginase drug against broad-spectrum cancer cell lines, we have explored the potential of a recombinant Bacillus caldovelox arginase mutant (BCA-M) for human cervical cancer treatment. Our studies demonstrated that BCA-M significantly inhibited the growth of human cervical cancer cells in vitro regardless of argininosuccinate synthetase (ASS) and argininosuccinate lyase (ASL) expression. Drug susceptibilities correlate well with the expressions of major urea cycle genes and completeness of L-arginine regeneration pathways. With the expressions of ASS and ASL genes conferring resistance to L-arginine deiminase (ADI) which is undergoing Phase III clinical trial, BCA-M offers the advantage of a broader spectrum of susceptible cancer cells. Mechanistic studies showed that BCA-M inhibited the growth of human cervical cancer cells by inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at S and/or G2 /M phases. Our results also displayed that autophagy served as a protective mechanism, while the growth inhibitory effects of BCA-M could be enhanced synergistically by its combination to the autophagy inhibitor, chloroquine (CQ), on human cervical cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7445
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2020


  • Apoptosis
  • Arginase
  • Autophagy
  • Cell cycle arrest
  • Cervical cancer cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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