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Adv Enzyme Regul. 1983;21:53-69.

Salvage capacity of hepatoma 3924A and action of dipyridamole.


The role and behavior of the salvage enzymes in the biosynthesis of purines (adenine and hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferases) and pyrimidines (uridine-cytidine, deoxycytidine and thymidine kinases) were elucidated. In liver purine metabolism the transferase activities were orders of magnitude higher than the activities of the enzymes of de novo biosynthesis. In both purine and pyrimidine biosynthesis the activities of the enzymes of the de novo pathways were low (23 pmol to 70 nmol/hr/mg protein), whereas those of salvage synthetic pathways ranged from 0.8 to 1,470 nmol/hr/mg protein. In purine metabolism the salvage enzymes had markedly higher affinity to the shared substrate PRPP (4 to 40 microM) than the rate-limiting enzyme of de novo synthesis, amidophosphoribosyltransferase (900 microM). In rapidly growing hepatoma 3924A the activities of the enzymes of de novo purine biosynthesis increased, whereas those of the salvage pathway changed little. However, the activities of the enzymes of the salvage pathways remained much higher than those of the enzymes of de novo purine production. In pyrimidine production in the hepatomas the activities of both de novo and salvage enzymes markedly increased. However, the activities of the salvage enzymes far outstripped those of the enzymes of the de novo pathways. To inhibit the operation of the salvage pathways, the action of the transport inhibitor, dipyridamole, was examined. In tissue culture, dipyridamole inhibited the transport of purine and pyrimidine nucleosides with an IC50 of 10(-6) or 10(-7) M. As measured by colony-forming assay, dipyridamole killed hepatoma cells with an IC50 of 20 microM. Dipyridamole markedly depressed the pools of ATP, GTP, CTP and UTP; in combination chemotherapy with acivicin, an anti-glutamine agent, synergistic action was observed on the pools of nucleotides in hepatoma 3924A in vivo. These investigations emphasize the importance of the capacity to utilize precursors by the salvage enzymes and may explain, in part at least, the failure of inhibitors of the de novo pathways to yield lasting chemotherapeutic results. Combination chemotherapy of inhibitors of the de novo pathways with an inhibitor of the salvage pathways (dipyridamole) should impact on our understanding of the contribution of salvage pathways and provide a rational basis for successful combination chemotherapy of neoplastic diseases.

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