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

Variations in patterns of DNA damage induced in human colorectal tumor cells by 5-fluorodeoxyuridine: implications for mechanisms of resistance and cytotoxicity.

We have previously shown that treatment of the HT29 human colorectal tumor (HCT) cell line with 100 nM 5-fluorodeoxyuridine (FdUrd) induces DNA fragments ranging from 50 kilobases to 5 megabases. The studies reported here were conducted to characterize the kinetics, concentration dependence, and pharmacologic specificity of this process and to determine if such fragmentation varies among HCT cell lines. HT29 and SW620 cells yielded similar fragment size distributions upon treatment with either FdUrd or CB3717 [a folate analog inhibitor of thymidylate synthase ( TS)]. With either of these agents the SW620 line required higher drug concentrations or longer incubation times than HT29 cells to achieve a given level of fragmentation or cytotoxicity, even though the two cell lines are equally sensitive to FdUrd-induced TS inhibition. These data indicate that SW620 resistance is not due to a lesion in the events leading up to TS inhibition but it may be due to a difference in the steps following TS inhibition. Aphidicolin, a DNA polymerase inhibitor, did not cause substantial fragmentation or cytotoxicity in these two cell lines, demonstrating that the fragmentation response to the other two drugs is not a general consequence of DNA synthesis inhibition. A third HCT line, HuTu80, gave rise only to a smaller and more discrete population of DNA fragments, ranging from approximately 50 to 200 kilobases, following exposure to FdUrd. Similar patterns were seen in this line upon treatment with CB3717 or aphidicolin, indicating that this fragmentation pattern is not specific to TS inhibition and may be characteristic of a more general response than that seen in the other two cell lines. DNA fragments induced by FdUrd in HuTu80 cells did not degrade into smaller pieces, demonstrating that the process by which they are formed is distinct from apoptosis. We conclude that the responses of HCT cells to FdUrd-induced TS inhibition vary significantly, that these differences may reflect heterogeneity in the mechanism of DNA damage formation, and that, in some cases, FdUrd resistance may be due to alterations in the fragmentation process.[1]


  1. Variations in patterns of DNA damage induced in human colorectal tumor cells by 5-fluorodeoxyuridine: implications for mechanisms of resistance and cytotoxicity. Canman, C.E., Tang, H.Y., Normolle, D.P., Lawrence, T.S., Maybaum, J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1992) [Pubmed]
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