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Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2012 Aug;167(8):2144-59. doi: 10.1007/s12010-012-9755-z. Epub 2012 Jun 9.

L-Asparaginase as potent anti-leukemic agent and its significance of having reduced glutaminase side activity for better treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

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Department of Biotechnology, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Nagarjuna Nagar, Guntur 522510 AP, India.


Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is one of the leading types of malignant disorder seen in children. Viral infections, genetic factors and exposure to chemical carcinogens are some of the factors responsible for causing ALL. Treatment strategies followed for curing ALL include chemotherapy or radiation therapy, wherein, chemotherapy involves the use of the enzymatic drug L-Asparaginase. The enzyme can be produced from various plants, animals, bacterial and fungal sources but, among them, bacterial sources are widely used for production of this enzyme. The enzyme is non-human in origin having certain bottle necks with L-Asparaginase therapy in the form of side effects such as pancreatitis, thrombosis which are mainly due to glutaminase side activity. Hence, present-day research is mainly focussed on minimizing or completely eliminating the glutaminase activity of the enzyme L-Asparaginase. This review is focussed on the complications associated with glutaminase side activity and use of glutaminase free enzymatic drug L-Asparaginase in treating ALL and the other developments related to the modification of the drug for quality treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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