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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Folylpolyglutamyl synthetase gene transfer and glioma antifolate sensitivity in culture and in vivo.

BACKGROUND: Although antifolates are popular agents for use in chemotherapy, they display minimal toxicity against slow-growing tumors and are toxic to actively replicating cells in normal tissues. These drugs are converted intracellularly into polyglutamate derivatives by the enzyme folylpolyglutamyl synthetase (FPGS). Because tumors with high expression of FPGS often respond to nontoxic antifolate doses, we investigated whether augmenting tumoral FPGS activity by gene delivery would enhance tumoral antifolate sensitivity. METHODS: 9L rat gliosarcoma cells were stably transfected with a human FPGS complementary DNA (cDNA), producing 9L/FPGS cells. The sensitivity of these cells to the antifolates methotrexate and edatrexate was measured in culture and in subcutaneous tumors, as was their ability to increase the chemosensitivity of nearby nontransfected cells, i.e., a bystander effect. The antifolate sensitivity of nonselected cells transduced with a hybrid amplicon vector that expressed FPGS was also ascertained. RESULTS: In comparison with 9L cells, 9L/FPGS cells displayed enhanced sensitivity to 4-hour pulses of antifolate. Subcutaneous 9L/FPGS tumors responded as well to methotrexate given every third day as 9L tumors did to daily treatment. A modest bystander effect was observed with edatrexate treatment in culture and in vivo. The observed bystander effect appeared to result from the release of antifolates by transfected cells after the removal of extracellular drug. In culture, enhanced antifolate sensitivity was also seen in other stably transfected rodent and human glioma cell lines, including one with high pre-existing FPGS activity, and in canine and human glioblastoma cell lines transduced with a vector bearing FPGS cDNA. CONCLUSIONS: FPGS gene delivery enhances the antifolate sensitivity of several glioma cell lines and merits further evaluation as a therapeutic strategy.[1]


  1. Folylpolyglutamyl synthetase gene transfer and glioma antifolate sensitivity in culture and in vivo. Aghi, M., Kramm, C.M., Breakefield, X.O. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. (1999) [Pubmed]
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