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Ciba Found Symp. 1977;(48):225-48.

Purine metabolism and control of cell proliferation.


Exposure of normal lymphocytes to phytohaemagglutinin or other lectin mitogens results in increased concentrations of 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate (PP-ribose-P) within minutes. Subsequently, synthesis of purine nucleotides by both the de novo and the salvage pathways is facilitated. This change is prevented by proliferation-inhibiting concentrations of exogenous adenosine. The capacity of lymphocytes to metabolize both adenine and adenosine is increased several-fold by incubation with phytohaemagglutinin but the specific activities of the respective first-step enzymes are not significantly altered. These results suggest that the relatively low quantity of PP-ribose-P available in normal lymphocytes is a major factor limiting the synthesis of purine nucleotides and may be important for the maintenance of the quiescent state. Increased availability of PP-ribose-P may also be associated with proliferative activation of fibroblast-like cells: chick embryo fibroblast cultures released from density-dependent inhibition of growth by insulin, trypsin or serum rapidly increase the rate of adenine incorporation into nucleotides. Chick embryo fibroblasts transformed by Rous sarcoma virus, but not cells infected with the respective non-transforming leukosis virus, show PP-ribose-P concentrations higher than those observed in normal cells.

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