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

Role of metabolism in effects of diflubenzuron on growth of B16 melanomas in mice.

The insect growth regulator diflubenzuron (DFB), which also inhibits growth of experimental tumors in mice, was studied to determine the influence of in vivo microsomal metabolism on its antitumor activity. DFB inhibits chitin synthesis and growth of imaginal epidermis in insects and suppresses melanogenesis and uptake of nucleosides in mouse melanoma cells, but the means of cell growth regulation and the role of metabolism of DFB in such regulation have not been established. Five daily injections of DFB (total of 4000 mg/kg) into C57BL/6 mice with B16 melanomas induced an acute 11-20% decrease in tumor volume and a 2-3 day increase in the initial tumor volume doubling time (Td), but at mid-treatment tumors regained maximum (control-like) rate of volume increase. Tumors in mice conditioned with a mixed function oxidase inhibitor (CoCl2) and treated with DFB did not decrease in mean volume, but their rate of volume increase was reduced by about 75% and the Td was increased by 4.2 days. In contrast, induction of mixed function oxidase with 3-methylcholanthrene (3-MC) or beta-napthaflavone (B-NF) enhanced the effects of DFB by a factor of 1.5 to 2. 0. Therefore, aromatic hydroxylation of DFB may be required for tumor growth regulation. Three metabolites of DFB--two hydroxylated forms and a scission product, 4-chlorophenylurea (CPU), were also tested for tumor growth regulation. CPU was ineffective; a form oxidized at the 3 carbon of the phenyl ring (3-OH-DFB) was only marginally effective; but the 2-carbon form (2-OH-DFB) induced a 24% decrease in mean tumor volume and a 2.4 day increase in Td. Pretreatment with 3-MC and treatment with 2-OH-DFB also resulted in a 24% decrease in tumor volume and a 2.2 day increase in Td, but also reduced tumor volume increase to 20% between the 5th and 10th days after the initial 2-OH-DFB injection, compared to a 125% increase without 3-MC. Further, 3-MC pretreatment caused the otherwise marginally effective 3-OH-DFB to become almost as effective as 2-OH-DFB. These data support our previous report that DFB alters tumor growth and show that mixed function oxidase enhances effects of DFB, 2-OH-DFB and 3-OH-DFB.[1]


  1. Role of metabolism in effects of diflubenzuron on growth of B16 melanomas in mice. Jenkins, V.K., Perry, R.R., Ahmed, A.E., Ives, K. Investigational new drugs. (1986) [Pubmed]
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