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Oncol Res. 1999;11(11-12):523-8.

P450-expression in brain tumors.

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University of Leipzig, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Germany.


Oxazaphosphorines are inactive anticancer prodrugs that are bioactivated by hepatic cytochrome P450. Besides hepatic metabolism, there is increasing interest in the possibility of intratumoral activation of oxazaphosphorines by P450. Therefore, we investigated the expression of P450 (CYP3A4, CYP3A5, CYP2C9) by RT-PCR in 10 different brain tumor samples. Because P450 may be downregulated by interleukin-1 (IL-1) and IL-6, the receptors for IL-1 and IL-6 were analyzed. None of the brain tumors was positive for CYP3A4 whereas CYP3A5 was detected in 3 out of 10 tumors (two meningeomas, one medulloblastoma grade IV). All five gliomas, an ependymoma, and a lymphoma-metastase gave no signal. CYP2C9 mRNA was present in every sample studied. All samples were positive for IL-1 and IL-6 receptors. In summary, we have demonstrated that tumors of the CNS express P450, indicating that activation of prodrugs like oxazaphosphorines may take place intratumorally. However, the most abundantly hepatically expressed CYP3A4 enzyme is absent in the brain tumor samples. The presence of the IL-1 and IL-6 receptors opens the possibility that the wellknown downregulating influence of these cytokines also takes place in brain tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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