N-methylformycins. Reactivity with adenosine deaminase, incorporation into intracellular nucleotides of human erythrocytes and L1210 cells and cytotoxicity to L1210 cells

Gerald W. Crabtree, Ram P. Agarwal, Robert E. Parks, Arthur F. Lewis, Linda L. Wotring, Leroy B. Townsend

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The N-methyl derivatives of the C-nucleoside, formycin (7-amino-3(β-d-ribofurano-syl)pyrazolo[4, 3-d]pyrirnidine) were compared to formycin and adenosine with regard to their substrate activity with human erythrocytie adenosine deaminase (ADA), their ability to form intracellular nucleotides and their cytotoxicity to L1210 cells. Only 2-methylformycin (Km = 6.1 mM, relative Vmax = 396) and N- -methylformycin (Km = 0.1 mM, relative Vmax = 3) showed substrate activity with ADA (corresponding kinetic parameters for adenosine were: Km = 0.025 mM, relative Vmax = 100). In contrast to previous hypotheses, these results suggest that the conformation (either syn or anti) of an adenosine analog is not a major factor in determining substrate activity with ADA. Neither 4-methylformycin nor 6-methylformycin formed their corresponding nucleotides when incubated with human erythrocytes, whereas both 1-methylfor-mycin and 2-methylformycin formed large amounts of their corresponding mono-, di- and triphosphate nucleotides. Inhibition of ADA by pretreatment of the erythrocytes with the potent ADA inhibitor, 2'-deoxycoformycin, had no effect on the incorporation of 1-methylformycin into erythrocytic nucleotides but greatly increased the incorporation of 2-methylformycin and N7-methylformycin. The conversion of both 1-methylformycin and 2-methylformycin into nucleotides was almost complete after 18 hr of incubation (in the presence of 2'-deoxycoformycin in the case of 2 methylformycin), whereas that of N7-methylformycin was only partially complete in the presence of 2'-deoxycoformycin. With both 1-methylformycin and N7-methylformycin, transient accumulation of the corresponding nucleoside 5'-monophosphate derivative was observed prior to the accumulation of the triphosphate nucleotide. Results, qualitatively similar to those found with erythrocytes, were obtained when the effects of 2'-deoxycoformycin on the incorporation of 1-methyl- and 2-methylformycins into the nucleotide pools of L 1210 cells in vitro were examined. Compounds capable of forming analog nucleotides in human erythrocytes or L1210 cells if deamination is prevented either by the molecular structure of the analog or by pretreatment of the cells with 2'-deoxycoformycin, also showed marked cytotoxicity to L1210 cells in culture, i.e. 1-methyl-, 2-methyl- and N7-methylformycin exhibited id50 values of 0.5 to 2 μM, whereas 4-methyl- and 6-methylformyein were not significantly growth inhibitory. The potential usefulness of the various N-methyl derivatives of formycin (alone or in combination with an ADA inhibitor) as cytotoxic or antiviral agents is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1491-1500
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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