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

Quantitation of folic acid enhancement of antifolate synergism.

Trimetrexate (TMTX), 5,10-dideazatetrahydrofolate (DDATHF), and 10-propargyl-5,8-dideazafolate (PDDF, CB3717) are antifolates whose primary intracellular targets are dihydrofolate reductase, glycinamide ribonucleotide formyltransferase, and thymidylate synthase, respectively. Varying the medium folic acid (PteGlu) concentration over the range of 0.5 to 100 microM increasingly blocks the growth inhibitory effects of the individual antifolates in Manca human lymphoma cells, but increasingly enhances the synergistic interaction of both TMTX + DDATHF and TMTX+ PDDF combinations. Drug interactions were quantitated using the universal response surface approach, which consists of fitting a concentration-effect surface to experimental data with weighted nonlinear regression, enabling the estimation of the synergism parameter, alpha. Estimates for alpha are larger (more intense synergism) for the TMTX + DDATHF combination (alpha = 4.68 +/- 0.66 at 2 microM PteGlu; alpha = 53.6 +/- 3.7 at 40 microM PteGlu) than for the TMTX + PDDF combination (alpha = 0.690 +/- 0.25 at 2 microM PteGlu; alpha = 7.20 +/- 1.8 at 40 microM PteGlu). However, the relative increase brought about by increasing the PteGlu concentration from 2 microM to 40 microM is similar in each instance, 11- and 10-fold, respectively. These experiments suggest that the enhanced cytotoxic interaction brought about by increased PteGlu concentration with the TMTX + DDATHF combination and the TMTX + PDDF combination may share a common mechanism. The dramatic intensity of the synergism between DDATHF and TMTX at 40 microM PteGlu, along with the concept of modulation of antifolate synergism by folates, suggests future in vivo and/or clinical applications of combinations of these (or similar) compounds.[1]


  1. Quantitation of folic acid enhancement of antifolate synergism. Gaumont, Y., Kisliuk, R.L., Parsons, J.C., Greco, W.R. Cancer Res. (1992) [Pubmed]
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