Transformation of mouse fibroblasts with the oncogenes H-ras or trk is associated with pronounced changes in drug sensitivity and metabolism

G. J. Peters, M. Wets, Y. P A M Keepers, R. Oskam, J. Van Ark-Otte, P. Noordhuis, K. Smid, H. M. Pinedo

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Malignant activation of oncogenes ras or trk is implicated in a number of solid tumors and leukemias. We determined the chemosensitivity profile of wild-type mouse NIH-3T3 fibroblasts, and that of NIH-3T3 lines transformed by the H-ras (S2-721) and trk (106-632) oncogenes, against 11 different drugs from various classes. Differences in sensitivity were related to drug accumulation and metabolism. Both ras- and trk-transformed cell lines were less sensitive to cisplatin (CDDP) and doxorubicin (DXR) than the wild type. NIH-3T3 transformants expressing H-ras were less sensitive than those expressing trk or the wild type to the indoloquinone EO9, methotrexate and arabino-furanosylcytosine. No clear difference in sensitivity was observed for vincristine, VP-16, or the new cytidine analog 2',2'-difluoro-deoxycytidine. In both ras- and trk-transformed cell lines sensitivity to 5FU was increased moderately, but sensitivity to 5'deoxy-5-fluorouridine (5'dFUR) was increased markedly. Only the trk-transformed line NIH-3T3 was more sensitive to 2'deoxy-5-fluorouridine. Expression of P-glycoprotein was not different between the 3 cell lines but DXR accumulation in both mutants was decreased, indicating a non-P-glycoprotein-associated difference in sensitivity. Conversion of 5'dFUR to 5FU (catalyzed by pyrimidine nucleoside phosphorylases) was 5-10 times higher in both mutants than in the wild type. The activity of the phosphoribosyl-transferase (direct conversion of 5FU to FUMP) was comparable, but the rate of conversion of 5FU to fluorouridine (FUR) was lower in the wild type, as well as that of 5FU to FUMP via FUR. In contrast, the activity of thymidylate synthase, the target enzyme for fluoropyrimidines, was higher in the wild-type cells. The concentrations of both purine and pyrimidine nucleotides were lower in cells expressing trk. In conclusion, transformation of cells with the H-ras or trk oncogenes can markedly influence sensitivity to several drugs and affect normal metabolism and that of several anti-cancer agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-455
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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