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

Effects of glutathione depletion on the cytotoxicity of agents toward a human colonic tumour cell line.

Levels of glutathione (GSH) in tumour tissue may be important in determining the clinical response to certain anticancer agents. Recent reports have suggested that D,L-buthionine-S,R-sulphoximine (BSO), a specific inhibitor of GSH synthesis, may be used to deplete tumour cell GSH and thus increase the therapeutic ratio of these agents. We have previously shown that 1-naphthol is a potential antitumour agent, and that its possible metabolite 1,4-naphthoquinone is thiol reactive and capable of redox cycling. It was therefore of interest to investigate the effect of pretreatment with BSO, on the toxicity of these agents, to tumour cells. For comparison we included three other cytotoxic agents, melphalan, helenalin and menadione, the toxicities of which are reported to be modulated by intracellular GSH. Depletion of GSH using BSO did not effect the toxicity of 1-naphthol, or 1,4-NQ but did produce slight potentiation of the cytotoxicities of menadione, helanalin and melphalan. The lack of effect of BSO on 1-naphthol and 1,4-NQ is not easily explained but if one also considers the modest potentiation of cytotoxicity+ achieved with the other agents studied, the potential use of BSO in combined chemotherapy is at best rather modest.[1]


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