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

Sensitivity and resistance in human metastatic melanoma to the new chloroethylnitrosourea anti-tumor drug Fotemustine.

Fotemustine is a novel chloroethylnitrosourea derivative currently used in Phase III clinical trials for disseminated metastatic melanoma. This drug has been shown to inhibit enzymes in the ribonucleotide reduction pathway (i.e., thioredoxin reductase, glutathione reductase and ribonucleotide reductase). 14C chloroethyl-labelled Fotemustine covalently labels the thiolate active sites of thioredoxin reductase and glutathione reductase yielding 14C chloroethyl-thioether enzyme-inhibitor complexes. Enzyme activities can be restored by a reduced thioredoxin or reduced glutathione mediated beta-elimination of the chloroethyl group. 14C Fotemustine has been used to determine its reactivity and metabolism in drug sensitive and resistant melanoma metastases and in cultures of sensitive and resistant clones of human melanoma cells. Melanoma metastases from four different patients who were treated with Fotemustine could be labelled with radioactive drug only under reducing conditions with NADPH as electron donor and DTNB as substrate. FPLC analysis of these extracts revealed two radioactive proteins (I) glutathione reductase and (II) an unidentified protein with 95 and 50 kDa subunits. A similar labelling pattern was also found in extracts of Fotemustine sensitive melanoma cells (Cal 1). Fotemustine resistant tumors were melanotic and contained more glutathione reductase than thioredoxin reductase, whereas sensitive tumors were clinically amelanotic with more thioredoxin reductase than glutathione reductase. Fotemustine resistant melanoma cells (Cal 7) showed a slower uptake of 14C-label with 34% less isotope intracellularly in 1 h compared to sensitive melanoma cells (Cal 1). These results strongly indicate (I) the induction of alternate electron donors thioredoxin reductase or glutathione reductase for ribonucleotide reduction determines tumor and melanoma cell responses to the drug and (II) Fotemustine transport and the intracellular redox status seems to regulate resistance in melanoma cells and tissues.[1]


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