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

Cytotoxic mechanisms of glutamine antagonists in mouse L1210 leukemia.

The glutamine antagonists, acivicin (NSC 163501), azaserine (NSC 742), and 6-diazo-5-oxo-L-norleucine (DON) (NSC 7365), are potent inhibitors of many glutamine-dependent amidotransferases in vitro. Experiments performed with mouse L1210 leukemia growing in culture show that each antagonist has different sites of inhibition in nucleotide biosynthesis. Acivicin is a potent inhibitor of CTP and GMP synthetases and partially inhibits N-formylglycineamidine ribotide (FGAM) synthetase of purine biosynthesis. DON inhibits FGAM synthetase, CTP synthetase, and glucosamine-6-phosphate isomerase. Azaserine inhibits FGAM synthetase and glucosamine-6-phosphate isomerase. Large accumulations of FGAR and its di- and triphosphate derivatives were observed for all three antagonists which could interfere with the biosynthesis of nucleic acids, providing another mechanism of cytotoxicity. Acivicin, azaserine, and DON are not potent inhibitors of carbamyl phosphate synthetase II (glutamine-hydrolyzing) and amidophosphoribosyltransferase in leukemia cells growing in culture although there are reports of such inhibitions in vitro. Blockade of de novo purine biosynthesis by these three antagonists results in a "complementary stimulation" of de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis.[1]


  1. Cytotoxic mechanisms of glutamine antagonists in mouse L1210 leukemia. Lyons, S.D., Sant, M.E., Christopherson, R.I. J. Biol. Chem. (1990) [Pubmed]
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