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Oncology. 2006;70(6):458-64. Epub 2007 Jan 19.

Overexpression of the orotate phosphoribosyl-transferase gene enhances the effect of 5-fluorouracil on gastric cancer cell lines.

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  • 1Department of Surgical Oncology, Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Science, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Orotate phosphoribosyl-transferase (OPRT) is the initial enzyme of the 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) metabolic pathway, converting 5-FU into 5-fluorouridinemonophosphate, which is the most important mechanism of 5-FU activation. We therefore investigated whether overexpression of the OPRT gene enhances sensitivity to 5-FU.

METHODS:

An expression vector of the OPRT gene (pTARGET-OPRT) was transfected into two gastric cancer cell lines, TMK-1 and MKN-45, with low baseline expression levels of OPRT. The sensitivity to and anti-tumor activity of 5-FU were then investigated in vitro and in vivo in these two transfected clones (TMK-OPRT and MKN-OPRT).

RESULTS:

Although cell growth was unaltered compared to parent cells, overexpression of the OPRT gene was confirmed by Western blotting in both the TMK-OPRT and MKN-OPRT cells. OPRT enzyme activity increased 38-fold in TMK-OPRT cells and 8.0 fold in MKN-OPRT cells compared to their parent cells. Interestingly, although the sensitivity to Adriamycin, cis-platinum, mitomycin C and paclitaxel was unaltered in the transfected clones, the sensitivity to 5-FU was increased 14.2- and 6.0-fold in TMK-OPRT and MKN-OPRT cells, respectively, compared to their parent cells. Moreover, enhanced sensitivity was also confirmed in the in vivo study.

CONCLUSION:

The results indicate that overexpression of the OPRT gene plays an important role in the antiproliferative effect of 5-FU and might therefore be a predictive factor of response to 5-FU in gastric cancer patients.

Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.

PMID:
17237621
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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