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

Enhancement of vincristine cytotoxicity in drug-resistant cells by simultaneous treatment with onconase, an antitumor ribonuclease.

BACKGROUND: Onconase, a protein isolated from oocytes and early embryos of the frog Rana pipiens, shares extensive homology with bovine pancreatic ribonuclease (RNase A) and possesses similar enzyme activity. Onconase is cytotoxic toward cancer cells in vitro and exhibits antitumor activity in animal models. In addition, Onconase has been shown to enhance the cytotoxic activity of some chemotherapeutic agents in vitro. PURPOSE: We studied interactions between the cytotoxic effects of Onconase and the chemotherapeutic agent vincristine (VCR) in the treatment of drug-sensitive and multidrug-resistant human colon carcinoma cells in vitro and in mice. METHODS: Transplantable human colon carcinoma cells (HT-29par cells) were infected with a retrovirus containing human mdr1 (also known as MDR1 and PGY1) complementary DNA (encoding P-glycoprotein [ P-gp]), and clones that were cross-resistant to colchicine, doxorubicin, and vinblastine were selected (HT-29mdr1 cells). Drug-resistant HT-29mdr1 cells and drug-sensitive HT-29par parental cells were treated with Onconase and/or VCR in vitro at varying concentrations to measure the effects on protein synthesis and cell viability. The impact of Onconase on VCR accumulation in both types of cells was determined in the presence or absence of MRK-16, an anti- P-gp monoclonal antibody capable of reversing the multidrug-resistant phenotype. The antitumor effects of Onconase and/or VCR treatment were assessed in nude mice bearing established HT-29par or HT-29mdr1 intraperitoneal tumors. IC50 values (drug concentrations resulting in 50% inhibition of protein synthesis or cell viability) for Onconase and VCR were determined from semilogarithmic dose-response curves; interactions between the cytotoxic effects of these two agents were evaluated using data from protein synthesis inhibition experiments and a two-way analysis of variance. Survival distributions from in vivo experiments were compared using Cox proportional hazards models. RESULTS: The combination of Onconase and VCR yielded enhanced cytotoxicity in vitro that was independent of P-gp expression. Evaluation of the effects of these two compounds on protein synthesis over a wide range of drug concentrations indicated possible synergistic interactions (i.e., greater than additive effects) in both drug-resistant and drug-sensitive cells. The enhancement of VCR cytotoxicity was dependent on Onconase enzyme activity and was not associated with increased intracellular levels of VCR. Simultaneous treatment of mice bearing HT-29par tumors with Onconase and VCR did not extend their median survival time (MST) significantly (MST with VCR = 66 days; MST with VCR plus Onconase = 69 days; two-tailed P = .57); however, the MST of mice with HT-29mdr1 tumors was extended significantly by this treatment (MST with VCR = 44 days; MST with VCR plus Onconase = 66 days; two-tailed P<.001). CONCLUSION: Combined administration of Onconase and VCR yields enhanced cytotoxicity in vitro and in vivo against human colon carcinoma cells that overexpress the mdr1 gene.[1]


  1. Enhancement of vincristine cytotoxicity in drug-resistant cells by simultaneous treatment with onconase, an antitumor ribonuclease. Rybak, S.M., Pearson, J.W., Fogler, W.E., Volker, K., Spence, S.E., Newton, D.L., Mikulski, S.M., Ardelt, W., Riggs, C.W., Kung, H.F., Longo, D.L. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. (1996) [Pubmed]
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