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

Sensitization of nitrosourea-resistant Mer+ human tumor cells to N-(2-chloroethyl)-N'-cyclohexyl-N-nitrosourea by mild (41 degrees C) hyperthermia.

Experiments were designed to determine whether heat treatment could sensitize nitrosourea-resistant human tumor cell lines expressing a repair system (O6-alkylguanine DNA alkyltransferase; Mer+) capable of removing monoadducts from the DNA of treated cells prior to the formation of lethal interstrand cross-links. Effects of temperatures compatible with systemic hyperthermia were of particular interest, and, consequently, the effect of 1-(2-chloroethyl)-3-cyclohexyl-1-nitrosourea (CCNU) exposure in vitro for 4 h at 37 degrees C was compared with that for 1 h at 41 degrees C followed by 3 h at 37 degrees C. CCNU toxicity was significantly enhanced by heat treatment in the Mer+ HT-29 human colon carcinoma, and in HeLa-S3 and HeLa-CCL2 cell lines [thermal enhancement factor (ratio of CCNU doses required to reduce cell survival to 0.001 at 37 degrees C and 41 degrees C) = 1.3-1.4]. Pharmacokinetic studies indicated that the effect of heat treatment on CCNU toxicity was not attributable to exposure to increased concentrations of reactive species, nor was the enhancement due to a direct effect of heat and/or drug on alkyltransferase activity. A similar enhancement of CCNU toxicity was also observed in a Mer- line, HeLa-MR (thermal enhancement factor = 1.3). Heat-sequencing experiments clearly demonstrate that heat and CCNU must be administered concurrently. Alkaline elution experiments were designed to examine DNA-DNA cross-link formation in Mer+ and Mer- cells exposed to CCNU at 37 degrees C and 41 degrees C, but quantitation of cross-link formation was not possible owing to the persistence of single strand breaks in the DNA of drug-treated cells. Nevertheless, collectively the data indicate that thermal enhancement of CCNU toxicity is independent of effects on alkytransferase activity and indicate that hyperthermia could provide an effective strategy for improving the nitrosourea response of resistant Mer+ tumors.[1]


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