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

Chemical structure of carbamoylating groups and their relationship to bone marrow toxicity and antiglioma activity of bifunctionally alkylating and carbamoylating nitrosoureas.

Although the antitumor effects of chloroethylnitrosoureas have been shown to be due primarily to DNA-DNA cross-linking by the alkylating moieties of these agents, the basis of the often accompanying bone marrow toxicity has been more controversial. We report on the relative bone marrow toxicity of four model nitrosoureas with different alkylating and carbamoylating activities: 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea; 1,3-bis(trans-4-hydroxycyclohexyl)-1-nitrosourea; chlorozotozin, (2-[3-(2-chloroethyl)-3 -nitrosoureido]-2-deoxy-D-glucopyranose); and -3-(beta-D-glucopyranosyl)-1-nitrosourea. Inhibitions of DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis in murine bone marrow cells and of colony growth of myeloid precursor cells (granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming units) were used as in vitro end points of myelotoxicity. Further, we determined the antiglioma activity of the four nitrosoureas on two human gliomas in a clonogenic tumor cell assay and studied the effect of the non-nitrosourea carbamoylators potassium cyanate, chloroethyl isocyanate, cyclohexyl isocyanate, ethyl isocyanate, and ethyl isothiocyanate on granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming units. The results show that, at equivalent drug exposures, clonogenic glioma cell kill was significant and comparative for 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea, 1-(2-chloroethyl)-3-(beta-D-glucopyranosyl)-1-nitrosourea, and chlorozotocin; 1,3-bis(trans-4-hydroxycyclohexyl)-1-nitrosourea showed little activity. In contrast, granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming unit toxicity was low with chlorozotocin and 1-(2-chloroethyl)-3-(beta-D-glucopyranosyl)-1-nitrosourea and very high with 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea and 1,3-bis(trans-4-hydroxycyclohexyl)-1-nitrosourea. Of the isocyanates, bone marrow toxicity was highest with chloroethyl isocyanate and cyclohexyl isocyanate, intermediate with ethyl isocyanate, and lowest with KOCN and ethyl isothiocyanate. Our results indicate that (a) bifunctional alkylation is essential for antiglioma activity of nitrosoureas and (b) myelosuppression is at least partly linked with carbamoylation but that structural entities in the carbamoylating isocyanate rather than a quantitative degree of carbamoylation determine the degree of potential myelotoxicity.[1]


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