Studies on the mechanism of 3-deazaguanine cytotoxicity in L1210-sensitive and -resistant cell lines

Gurcharn Singh, Marian K. Luna, Bach Ardalan

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3 Scopus citations


3-Deazaguanine (3-DG), a purine analogue, has unusual antitumor activity against experimental mammary tumor models and a number of other solid tumors. Others have shown that mutant CHO cells deficient in hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HGPRTase) or adenine phosphoribosyl transferase (APRTase) are resistant to 3-DG. We developed a L1210 cell line resistant to 3-DG, L1210/3-DG, by subculturing the parent L1210/0 cells in the presence of increasing concentrations of 3-DG. The IC50 was 3.5 μM and 620 μM for L1210/0 and L1210/3-DG, respectively. Cytotoxicity studies proved the resistance to be stable. Examination of the baseline-specific activity of HGPRTase and APRTase showed that the former was 118-fold lower in L1210/3-DG than in L1210/0, and the latter demonstrated no difference. A 4-h treatment of the cell lines at IC50 doses showed 48% and 23% reductions in IMP dehydrogenase in L1210/0 and L1210/3-DG, respectively. The rate of de novo purine biosynthesis was studied by using [14C]formic acid. Formate flux increased 2-fold in L1210/3DG in concert with the observed deficiency of HGPRTase in the cell line. 3-DG uptake was studied with [14C]-labelled compound. The total radioactivity was 9-fold higher in L1210/0 than in L1210/3-DG at 2 h. Subsequent chromatographic separation of radioactivity showed the 3-DG and 3-deazaguanosine pools of the drug to be equal in both lines. However, 3-DG nucleotide pools at 1 min and 2 h were 2.5-fold and 16-fold lower, respectively, in L1210/3-DG than in L1210/0. 3-DG incorporation studies with radiolabelled drug demonstrated that 3-deazaguanine is incorporated in the acid-insoluble fraction of the cell. These studies conclude that HGPRTase, and not APRTase, is required for the activation of drug. Inhibition of IMP dehydrogenase is partially responsible for antitumor activity of the drug. The incorporation of drug into nucleic acids may be a major mechanism for its antitumor activity. Further studies using a cloned cDNA probe for hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRT) demonstrated no change in the DNA arrangements of the L1210/3-DG cell line, and Northern blot analysis showed approximately equal expression of mRNA in both cell lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-196
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Chemotherapy And Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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