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Int J Oncol. 2003 May;22(5):945-53.

Chromosomal imbalance maps of human 5FU-resistant colorectal cancer cell lines: implications in the analysis of 5FU-acquired resistance mechanisms.

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Medical Oncology Service and Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Ctra del Canyet s/n, 08916 Badalona, Barcelona, Spain.


Thymidylate synthase (TS), a critical enzyme in the de novo synthesis of thymidylate, is an important target for fluoropyrimidines and folate-based TS inhibitors. Overexpression of TS has been correlated to 5-fluorouracil (5FU)-resistance. Because 5FU still remains a basic component of the treatment of colorectal cancer, circumvention of resistance is of vital importance. A panel of sensitive (HT29 and LoVo) and 5FU-resistant colorectal cancer cell lines (HT29-5FUR and LoVo-5FUR) were subjected to comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) analysis to identify possible amplified/deleted regions associated with 5FU-resistance in colon tumours. We have identified chromosomal gains at 5p, 6, 7p, 7q and 8q and one loss at 3q in 5FU-resistant cells as compared to corresponding sensitive cell lines. Neither chromosomal gains at 18p nor gene amplification of TS were observed in our resistant cell lines although an overexpression of TS gene exists (at mRNA level) in these cell lines as compared with corresponding parental cells. Most of the chromosomal gains identified in this study occur frequently in sporadic colorectal tumours and has been associated to a poor prognosis and a greater progression of the tumour and could be related to a worse chemotherapy response. The chromosomal imbalance profile detected in 5FU-resistant cell lines should provide a basis for interpreting mechanisms of 5FU-resistance in colorectal cancer and also possibly in other tumours treated with this agent. This study also identified new genes potentially implicated in 5FU-resistance and suggests new targets that could be useful for the chemotherapy treatment of colorectal cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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