Simvastatin Potently Induces Calcium-Dependent Apoptosis of Human Leiomyoma Cells [Signal Transduction]

October 30th, 2014 by Borahay, M. A., Kilic, G. S., Yallampalli, C., Snyder, R. R., Hankins, G. D. V., Al-Hendy, A., Boehning, D.

Statins are drugs commonly used for the treatment of high plasma cholesterol levels. Beyond these well-known lipid-lowering properties, they possess broad reaching effects in vivo which include anti-tumor effects. Statins inhibit the growth of multiple tumors; however the mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Here, we show that simvastatin inhibits the proliferation of human leiomyoma cells. This was associated with decreased mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling and multiple changes in cell cycle progression. Simvastatin potently stimulated leiomyoma cell apoptosis in a manner mechanistically dependent upon apoptotic calcium release from voltage-gated calcium channels. Thus, simvastatin possesses anti-tumor effects which are dependent upon the apoptotic calcium release machinery.