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

Decreased folylpolyglutamate synthetase activity as a mechanism of methotrexate resistance in CCRF-CEM human leukemia sublines.

Determinants of methotrexate (MTX) resistance in cell lines resistant to short, but not continuous, MTX exposure were investigated since such lines may have relevance to clinical resistance. CCRF-CEM R30dm (R30dm), cloned from CCRF-CEM R30/6 (a MTX-resistant subline of the CCRF-CEM human leukemia cell line), had growth characteristics similar to CCRF-CEM. R30dm was resistant to a 24-h exposure to levels as high as 300 microM MTX but was as sensitive as CCRF-CEM to continuous MTX exposure. MTX resistance of R30dm was stable for greater than 68 weeks in the absence of selective pressure. Initial velocities of MTX transport were comparable for R30dm and CCRF-CEM, as were dihydrofolate reductase specific activity and MTX binding. A 2-fold thymidylate synthase activity decrease for R30dm from that of CCRF-CEM was not a significant factor in R30dm MTX resistance. Decreased MTX poly(gamma-glutamate) synthesis resulted in lower levels of drug accumulation by R30dm. Decreased polyglutamylation was attributable to folylpolyglutamate synthetase (FPGS) activity in R30dm extracts which was 1, 2, and less than or equal to 10% of CCRF-CEM extracts with the substrates MTX, aminopterin, and naturally occurring folates, respectively. Comparison of cell lines with varying levels of resistance to short term MTX exposure indicated that the extent of MTX resistance was proportional to the reduction of FPGS activity. The evidence supported decreased FPGS activity as the mechanism of resistance to short MTX exposure in the cell lines investigated.[1]


  1. Decreased folylpolyglutamate synthetase activity as a mechanism of methotrexate resistance in CCRF-CEM human leukemia sublines. McCloskey, D.E., McGuire, J.J., Russell, C.A., Rowan, B.G., Bertino, J.R., Pizzorno, G., Mini, E. J. Biol. Chem. (1991) [Pubmed]
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