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Life Sci. 1982 Mar 29;30(13):1073-80.

Rapid in vivo inactivation by acivicin of CTP synthetase, carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase II, and amidophosphoribosyltransferase in hepatoma.


A single injection of the anti-glutamine drug, acivicin (NSC 163501), in tumor-bearing rats in 30 min decreased the activities of amidophosphoribosyltransferase, carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase II and CTP synthetase to 56, 50, and 7% of those of the controls. By 1 hr the activities were down to 32, 13 and 3% and they remained low for 12 hr, after which they slowly returned towards normal range in 72 hr. The decline of the activity of CTP synthetase (a loss of 80% in 10 min) was the most rapid, and the activity only returned to 60% of the controls by 3 days after the acivicin injection. In the hepatoma the concentrations of ATP and UTP changed little, but those of GTP and CTP rapidly decreased, reaching at the lowest point 32 and 2%, respectively, of control values 2 hr after acivicin; concentrations started to rise at 12 hr, reaching normal levels by 48 hr. The drop in enzyme activities preceded the decline in the pools of GTP and CTP. The behavior of enzyme activities and nucleotide concentrations in the host liver had a pattern similar to that in the hepatoma; however, the changes were less extensive than those in the tumor. The differential response between tumor and liver is attributed, in part at least, to the tissue L-glutamine concentration which in the hepatoma (0.5 mM) was 9 times lower than in the liver (4.5mM). The selectivity of acivicin action in inhibiting glutamine-utilizing enzymes is also demonstrated by the lack of effect on aspartate carbamoyltransferase, an enzymic activity which resides in the same complex as that of carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase II. The rapid decline in the activities of glutamine-utilizing enzymes is attributed to an inactivation of the enzymes by acivicin which functions as an active sitedirected affinity analog of L-glutamine. The rapid modulation of the enzymic phenotype and ribonucleotide concentrations by acivicin provides a useful tool for elucidating the role of enzymic and nucleotide imbalance in the commitment of cancer cells to replication and in the targeting of anticancer chemotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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