• malignant transformation;
  • Syrian hamster embryo cells;
  • Malachite green;
  • G2/M checkpoint;
  • abrogation of G2/M checkpoint

Malachite green (MG), consisting of green crystals with a metallic lustre, is highly soluble in water, cytotoxic to various mammalian cells and also acts as a liver tumour promoter. In view of its industrial importance and possible exposure to human beings, MG poses a potential environmental health hazard. We have earlier reported the malignant transformation of Syrian hamster embryo (SHE) cells by MG. In this study, we have studied the effects of MG on cell cycle phase distribution of normal and MG transformed Syrian hamster embryo cells in asynchronous and synchronous cell population. DNA flow cytometric analysis indicated that culturing cells for 48h in medium containing MG at different concentrations induced dose-dependent G2/M arrest in normal cells. Malignantly transformed cells showed no such dose-responsive accumulation of cells at the G2/M phase of the cell cycle in response to MG. Synchronization studies indicated that in the control, both in the presence and absence of MG, cells followed a normal cell cycle pattern up to 16h. After 16h in the absence of MG, cells continued a normal cell cycle, whereas in the presence of MG they accumulated at G2/M phase of the cell cycle. This pattern of accumulation of cells at the G2/M checkpoint control was not observed in either untreated or MG-treated transformed cells. The present study indicates efficient operation of G2/M checkpoint control in control SHE cells and its abrogation in transformed SHE cells.