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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1975 Dec;72(12):4994-8.

Selective killing of transformed baby hamster kidney (BHK) cells.


We report here that certain drugs can protect Syrian baby hamster kidney cells (BHK) in culture against the lethal agents cytosine arabinonucleoside, hydroxyurea, and colcemid. Polyoma virus-transformed BHK cells (PyBHK) are killed under the same conditions. The protective drugs include caffeine and streptovitacin A. Kinetic studies show that these drugs act specifically in G1, and that they shift BHK cells from G1 into the G0 state at the restriction point, similar to the effects of high cell density or serum deprivation. These drugs do not block the growth of PyBHK cells nearly as effectively, consistent with a reduced effectiveness of restriction point control in virus-transformed cells. Consequently, the transformed cells around their cycle and are killed by the cell cycle phase-specific toxic agents, in contrast to the arrested BHK cells. These findings provide a model for studies on differential killing of tumor versus normal cells in vivo.

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