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Anticancer Drugs. 2006 Jan;17(1):41-51.

Correlations between the activities of 19 anti-tumor agents and the intracellular glutathione concentrations in a panel of 14 human cancer cell lines: comparisons with the National Cancer Institute data.

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Department of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, Institute of Pharmacy, University of Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany.


The aim of this work was 2-fold: (i) to identify correlations between the activities of pairs of 19 anti-tumor agents in a mini-panel of 14 human cancer cell lines of diverse origins with the goal of validating the panel, and (ii) to look for correlations between the activities of 19 standard anti-tumor agents and the intracellular concentrations of glutathione (GSH). Validation with analogous data from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Developmental Therapeutics Program was made. The cell growth inhibition potencies of the anti-tumor agents [cisplatin, carboplatin, oxaliplatin, DACH-Pt, melphalan, chlorambucil, thiotepa, busulfan, doxorubicin, etoposide, camptothecin, vinblastine, podophyllotoxin, colchicine, taxol, hydroxyurea, methotrexate, 5-azacytidine and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)] were estimated in 14 cancer cell lines by their GI50 values. An enzymatic assay based on the method of Tietze was employed to measure intracellular total GSH concentrations. The Delta method was used to compare pairs of anti-tumor agents; similarities and differences in activity profiles (mean graphs) were evaluated by regression analysis. Most, but not all, of the correlations could be explained based on similarities in the mechanisms of action and many correlations/non-correlations were also observed in the NCI data. Some correlations were unexpected however, and not seen in the NCI data. For example, strong positive correlations (P < 0.01) were found between the GI50 values of melphalan/chlorambucil and the anti-mitotic agents. Similarly unexpected, a strong positive correlation was observed between methotrexate and cisplatin (P < 0.01). Interestingly, moderate to strong negative correlations (P < 0.01-0.05) were found between the GI50 values of 5-FU and the anti-mitotic agents/melphalan/chlorambucil. Significant positive correlations between intracellular GSH concentrations and GI50 values were found only for thiotepa (P < 0.05) and doxorubicin (P < 0.01). Data from a NCI panel of 34 cancer cell lines showed no correlations between GSH levels and the GI50 values of the same 19 compounds. In conclusion, a panel of 14 human cancer cell lines of diverse origin was used to identify similarities and differences in the activities of standard anti-tumor agents. The level of significance was stronger with the 34 cell lines of the NCI, however. Our results indicate that GSH intracellular concentrations correlate with resistance only with doxorubicin and thiotepa in these cell lines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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