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Biochem Pharmacol. 1985 Oct 15;34(20):3677-82.

Dissimilar actions of 6-mercaptopurine and 6-thioguanine in Chinese hamster ovary cells.


The actions of 6-thioguanine (TG) and 6-mercaptopurine (MP) were compared in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Several differences were noted between these two agents. TG caused a greater maximal loss of clonogenicity, leaving about one log fewer survivors than did MP, although the cells killed by MP appeared to succumb much more rapidly than those killed by TG. MP-treated populations experienced a G1 or G1/S arrest which was quickly reversed upon drug removal, while TG-treated cells were arrested in late S/G2, after some delay. Although TG induced a gross chromosome deformation [unilateral chromatid damage, as described earlier in Maybaum and Mandel, Cancer Res. 43, 3852 (1983)] MP caused little or no such deformation. Addition of 4-amino-5-imidazolecarboxamide (AIC) to MP treatments antagonized MP-induced loss of clonogenicity, while AIC caused a dose-dependent potentiation of TG-induced loss of clonogenicity. The interaction between TG and AIC does not seem to represent an increase in either purine starvation or incorporation of TG into DNA, suggesting that a third mechanism is involved. We suggest that this additional mechanism may possibly be related to the induction of differentiation by TG that has been reported in other systems.

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