The effect of sodium butyrate (NaBut) on cell growth was studied in normal rat kidney (NRK) fibroblasts, and in NRK cells stably transfected with either the adenoviral gene E1A (wild-type), or mutated E1A (E1Amut; with a deletion in the CR1 domain), or with the transforming Ha-ras (EJ) gene. The growth of all these cell lines was inhibited by milimolar concentrations of sodium butyrate (NaBut). However, whereas the NRK cells as well as the NRK-E1Amut and NRK-ras cells were arrested in the G1 phase of the cell cycle, the NRK-E1A cells progressively accumulated in the G2 phase, suggesting that the E1A gene expression caused a “leaky” inhibition of G1 phase progression. The expression of late cell cycle-related genes cdc2 and PCNA (proliferating cell nuclear antigen) was not affected by NaBut in the NRK-E1A cells while it was totally suppressed in the other NRK-derived cell lines.

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