Dihydrofolate reductase gene amplification and possible rearrangement in estrogen-responsive methotrexate-resistant human breast cancer cells

K. H. Cowan, M. E. Goldsmith, R. M. Levine, S. C. Aitken, E. Douglass, N. Clendeninn, A. W. Nienhuis, M. E. Lippman

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Abstract

Methotrexate-resistance (MTX(R)) human breast cancer cells have been obtained which are 1000-fold less sensitive to this drug than the wild type MCF-7 cells from which they were derived. The resistant cells contain approximately a 25-fold increase in the activity of the target enzyme dihydrofolate (DHF) reductase. Enzyme inhibition studies and methotrexate affinity studies fail to reveal any difference in the DHF reductase present in the MTX(R) cells compared to wild type MCF-7 cells. Cytogenetic analysis demonstrates the presence of elongated marker chromosomes in the resistant cells which are not found in the parental cell line. Analysis of the DNA from MTX(R) and wild type MCF-7 cells using Southern blot hybridization indicates that the MTX(R) MCF-7 cells contain more copies of DHF reductase gene sequences than do wild type MCF-7 cells. These experiments also suggest that the amplified DHF reductase gene sequences in MTX(R) cells may have undergone a uniform structural rearrangement involving the 5' flanking sequences during the process of amplification. MTX(R) MCF-7 cells respond to estradiol by increasing cell growth, and the level of DHF reductase in the MTX(R) cells is further induced following administration of estradiol. Radiolabeling studies demonstrate that estrogen stimulates the actual synthesis of DHF reductase in human breast cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15079-15086
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume257
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 1 1982

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Cowan, K. H., Goldsmith, M. E., Levine, R. M., Aitken, S. C., Douglass, E., Clendeninn, N., Nienhuis, A. W., & Lippman, M. E. (1982). Dihydrofolate reductase gene amplification and possible rearrangement in estrogen-responsive methotrexate-resistant human breast cancer cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 257(24), 15079-15086.